The remnants of the routed Orcish fleet have managed to reach the northern shores of Azeroth. Admiral Proudmoore believes that the Horde will attempt to reinforce their main Fortress at Blackrock Spire.
Leading a large strikeforce of Lordaeron troops, Lord Lothar was sent to attempt a parlay with the Orcish Chieftain Orgrim Doomhammer. No reports have been heard in days … Assuming the worst, Admiral Proudmoore and King Terenas agree that it falls upon you to stage a final siege upon Blackrock Spire.
The feral Dwarves of the Northern wildlands have offered the service of their Gryphon Riders to assist in the decimation of the foul Orcs that have desecrated their homeland and slain the leader of the Alliance forces.
The stoic dwarves of Ironforge spent countless generations mining treasures from deep within the earth. Secure in their impregnable stronghold of Ironforge Mountain, the dwarves rarely ventured beyond the wintry peaks of Dun Morogh. Even so, when the orcs invaded Azeroth and set out to conquer the humans, elven and dwarven lands, the dwarves offered to join the Grand Alliance. The resillient and ingenious dwarves proved to be the backbone of the Alliance forces and helped usher in victory after victory.
Recently the dwarves unearthed a series of ruins that held the key to the secrets of their lost heritage. Driven to discover the truth about his people’s fabled origins, King Magni Bronzebeard ordered that the dwarves shift their industry from mining and engineering to that of archaeology. Magni helped create the famed Explorer’s Guild of Ironforge, a group utterly devoted to plumbing the secrets of the ancient world and delving out the truth of the dwarves’ fabled existence. Among the most relevant archeological findings to date are the ruins of Uldaman in Badlands; Bael Modan in the Barrens and Uldur in Tanaris. Rumors are that a third base of the Titans might be somewhere in the Storm Peaks of Northrend.
An integral part of the Grand Alliance, the rugged dwarven armies have been called away the merciless Horde in faraway lands. In these perilous times, the defense of the mountain kingdom falls to brave dwarves like you. The spirits of the dwarven kings watch over you, and the very mountains are your strength. The future of your people is in your hands.
Many dwarven strongholds fell during the Second War, but the mighty city of Ironforge, nestled in the wintry peaks of Dun Morogh, was never breached by the invading Horde. A marvel to the dwarves’ skill at shaping rock and stone, Ironforge was constructed in the heart of the mountain itself: an expansive underground city of explorers, miners, and warriors. While the Alliance has been weakened by recent events, the dwarves of Ironforge, led by King Magni Bronzebeard, are forging a new future in the world.
King Magni Bronzebeard
The eldest of the three Bronzebeard brothers, Magni was destined to be the king under the mountain. Strong of arm and keen of mind, Magni loved his two brothers above all else in the world. During the recent fall of Lordaeron, his middle brother, Muradin, was killed by the Death Knight Prince Arthas. Magni was overcome with grief at the news of Muradin’s demise, but he and the youngest brother, Brann, remained steadfast in their desire to continue serving the dwarven people. Brann, an explorer of some renown, went missing only months ago, and King Magni has lost hope that Brann still lives. Though he remains a wise and strong leader, his pain and sorrow weigh heavily upon him. To make matters worse of Magni, his own daughter – Princess Moira Bronzebeard – has been kidnapped by the Black Iron Dwarves and is held prisoner by Emperor Thaurissan at Blackrock Depths in Burning Steppes. Many dwarves wonder whether the kingdom will ever see another Bronzebeard sitting on the High Throne of Ironforge.
One of the greatest explorers to ever wander the lands of Azeroth, Brann Bronzebeard was recognized and welcomed across the known world. The warm, courageous dwarf has made friends and acquaintances in nearly every charted land – and presumably those uncharted as well. Brann spent many years mapping out the remote corners and hidden nooks of the Eastern Kingdoms for his beloved Explorer’s Guild. With the recent discovery of Kalimdor, Brann was one of the first dwarves to tread the unknown paths of the ancients. Little is known about Brann’s recent disappearance other than the fact that he was headed towards the continent of Northrend to investigate his brother Muradin’s death. It is unknown whether or not he ever made it to the icy shores of that land.
High Explorer Magellas
Munnin Magellas has had an insatiable curiosity for history and arcana since he was a small boy. Now, as the patron of the Explorer’s Guild, his childhood wish has come true. Magellas is responsible for mapping out the world and cataloguing its various species, relics, and treasures for the generations to come. Employing a small army of Prospectors, Magellas has sent his agents all over the world to gain knowledge and insight for his people. Like King Magni, Magellas was grieved to hear of Brann’s loss. Nevertheless, he is committed to steering the Explorer’s Guild and gaining valuable insight on the mistakes of the past.
What everyone is asking! Will Blizzard announce the unannounced project at E3 2006 or at BlizzCon 2006? Maybe next year? Whatever the answer, Blizzard Entertainment has been hiring tons of new personnel for their Diablo Department. Few months back, Blizzard North offices in San Francisco were shut down for good. What few seem to know is that most of the personnel was relocated to their Irvine Headquarter and have kept work on the unannounced project.
On June 31, 2003, the eve of Warcraft III: Frozen Throne release, executives Erich Schaefer, Max Schaefer, David Brevik and Bill Roper resigned Blizzard North due to lack of communication between Blizzard North and conglomerate Vivendi Universal during the shadowy days of VUGames’s fate and buy out offers.
Shortly, on July 11, 2003, lead programmer Rick Seis took over the role of development team lead for Blizzard North?. On August 2003, the ex-executives that had resigned founded Flagship Studios. That same month there was a massive exodus and round of 30 resignations. Some joined Flagship Studios, Castaway Entertainment and other studios. Immediately two projects were leaked out to have been in production. A game was canned due to the lack of personnel. The remnants were moved to the second project. Read more on our previous speculation article.
With the Diablo Team still working on the unannounced project and Blizzard hiring new personnel since early 2005, fans are pondering what’s Blizzard cooking. The same year of mass resignations there was a patented project titled Diablo II: Salvation – which never came to see the light. The patent expired. Some fans think Blizzard could be developing Diablo III or World of Diablo, but no evidence or announcements have been revealed to support the rumors. However, recent Job Openings are explicitly tagged to be for the team behind Diablo I and Diablo II has been flooding the Blizzard Jobs Listing. This one just came out on April 28, 2006:
The team behind Diablo I and II is looking for a talented, motivated, and experienced Art Director to help lead our art team in developing beautiful, cohesive game worlds for an unannounced PC Project and future projects.
Surge Magazine visited Blizzard Entertainment at Irvine to interview Game Producer John Lagrave and Director of Game Design Rob Pardo. The article gets a rundown of the history behind Starcraft: Ghost. Blizzard did never plan to abandon the Console market, but their success in the PC market sorta slowed them down. Nihilistic then came to Blizzard with a plan to create a FPS game. Blizzard saw Nihilistic as the opportunity to return to Consoles while they focus their efforts on World of Warcraft. Currently all Blizzard teams are busy. Blizzard North is working on an unannounced project. A second project of Blizzard North was canceled back in August due to the resignation of 30 Blizzard Employees. The remaining staff of the cancelled project was merged with the second team to keep working on one game.
The other Blizzard Team was working on Warcraft III and Frozen Throne, and the third team is focused on World of Warcraft. Nihilistic was sorta like a blessing for Blizzard who wished to return to the console market, but had no personnel to spare into a massive project like a console game. When Nihilistic visited Blizzard and proposed a Console game as a third-party team for Blizzard, they didn’t blink. They gave the go ahead and immediately John Lagrave and Rob Pardo offered support to keep the game as highly Blizzard quality as possible with a daily supervision on the work done by Nihilistic.
While Nihilistic works on 3D modeling, interface, weapons, and other areas … Blizzard supervises and offers collaborative effort with Rob Pardo and John Lagrave, creates the in-house Cinematics and most of the narrative sequences and voice actors.
Everything Nihilistic creates in the game has to be approved by Blizzard in a daily basis. Nihilistic currently consists of 20 employees, located in San Francisco. Blizzard also assist with artists developing models and environments to give it that feeling and look of a Starcraft Universe. Details like the burned soil of Mar Sara are testament to this. Mar Sara was one of the planets that the Protoss burned down from orbit to purify it of Zerg infection; which are details needed in the game to give a feeling of continuity and realism with the environments set in the Starcraft RTS universe.
Blizzard reveals that Starcraft: Ghost offers players navigation of 5 planets full of missions throwing you into desert, jungle, asteroid and molten environments. Lagrave warns that fighting against Protoss Purifiers isn’t piece of cake. Few seconds under the psionic raygun energy field and you are toast! This unit resembles what Firebats do with a flamethrower, although they shoot pure psionic energy blasts instead.
Psi powers are useful when you are discovered and need to make a safe retreat to make a kill before the guards alert others of our presence. Nova uses 4 types of Psi-powers:
Speed Power: Slows down enemies to a quarter of their speed, while Nova moves at a normal pace. Allowing her to run past the enemy’s fire reach and safely make a blow kill.
Cloak power: Cloaking renders Nova invisible, which comes handy when you need to walk past a bunch of guards or units. Of course, trying to kill all of the bunch might be too risky as few may run away out of your reach and trigger the alarm. Cloaking allows you to go past them without raising any alarms.
Sight power: It is a Predator-visor-like effect low-light vision enhancer that lets Nova perceive footprints, interactive control panels, enemies behind walls and weak points in enemy armor. Once her psi charge runs out Nova should hide into the shadows away from being discovered.
Blizzard revealed that there are 3 types of mines which are insect-like drones(robots): the Mantis Mine is a reconnaisance mine that crawls around undetected bypassing guards on the ground level. The Firefly Mine focuses on distracting your enemies. You can use Fireflies to lead the enemy to a ambush or to lead them away from your destination. The Spider Mine is a walking explosive device that can sneak up on the enemy and can burrow to remain undetected. Once the enemy is on top it kills the target.
Blizzard reveals that players have to navigate 23 levels through the game which may offer a minimum of 15 hours of gameplay. Check out Surge Magazine issue# 2(May Edition).
Lord Lothar rallied the remnants of Azeroth’s armies after their defeat at Stormwind Keep, and then launched a massive exodus across the sea to the northern kingdom of Lordaeron. Convinced that the Horde would overcome all of humanity if left unchecked, the leaders of the seven human nations met and agreed to unite in what would become known as the Alliance of Lordaeron. For the first time in nearly three thousand years, the disparate nations of Arathor were once again united under a common banner. Appointed as Supreme Commander of the Alliance forces, Lord Lothar prepared his armies for the coming of the Horde.
Aided by his lieutenants, Uther the Lightbringer, Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, and Turalyon, Lothar was able to convince Lordaeron’s demi-human races of the impending threat as well. The Alliance succeeded in gaining the support of the stoic dwarves of Ironforge and a small number of high elves of Quel’Thalas. The elves, led at that time by Anasterian Sunstrider, were largely uninterested in the coming conflict. However, they were duty-bound to aid Lothar because he was the last descendent of the Arathi bloodline, which had aided the elves in ages past.
The Horde, now led by Warchief Doomhammer, brought in ogres from its homeworld of Draenor and conscripted the disenfranchised Amani forest trolls into its fold. Setting out on a massive campaign to overrun the dwarf kingdom of Khaz Modan and the southern reaches of Lordaeron, the Horde effortlessly decimated all opposition.
The epic battles of the Second War ranged from large-scale naval skirmishes to massive aerial dogfights. Somehow the Horde had unearthed a powerful artifact known as the Demon Soul and used it to enslave the ancient Dragonqueen, Alexstrasza. Threatening to destroy her precious eggs, the Horde forced Alexstrasza to send her grown children to war. The noble red dragons were forced to fight for the Horde, and fight they did.
The war raged across the continents of Khaz Modan, Lordaeron, and Azeroth itself. As part of its northern campaign, the Horde succeeded in burning down the borderlands of Quel’Thalas, thereby ensuring the elves’ final commitment to the Alliance’s cause. The greater cities and townships of Lordaeron were razed and devastated by the conflict. Despite the absence of reinforcements and overwhelming odds, Lothar and his allies succeeded in holding their enemies at bay.
However, during the final days of the Second War, as the Horde’s victory over the Alliance seemed almost assured, a terrible feud erupted between the two most powerful orcs on Azeroth. As Doomhammer prepared his final assault against the Capital City of Lordaeron – an assault that would have crushed the last remnants of the Alliance – Gul’dan and his followers abandoned their posts and set out to sea. The bewildered Doomhammer, having lost nearly half of his standing forces to Gul’dan’s treachery, was forced to pull back and forsake his greatest chance at victory over the Alliance.
The power-hungry Gul’dan, obsessed with obtaining godhood itself, set out on a desperate search for the undersea Tomb of Sargeras that he believed held the secrets of ultimate power. Having already doomed his fellow orcs to become the slaves of the Burning Legion, Gul’dan thought nothing of his supposed duty to Doomhammer. Backed by the Stormreaver and Twilight’s Hammer clans, Gul’dan succeeded in raising the Tomb of Sargeras from the sea floor. However, when he opened the ancient, flooded vault, he found only crazed demons awaiting him.
Seeking to punish the wayward orcs for their costly betrayal, Doomhammer sent his forces to kill Gul’dan and bring the renegades back into the fold. For his recklessness, Gul’dan was torn apart by the maddened demons he had set loose. With their leader dead, the renegade clans quickly fell before Doomhammer’s enraged legions. Though the rebellion had been quelled, the Horde was unable to recoup the terrible losses it had suffered. Gul’dan’s betrayal had afforded the Alliance not only hope, but also time to regroup and retaliate.
Lord Lothar, seeing that the Horde was fracturing from within, gathered the last of his forces and pushed Doomhammer south, back into the shattered heartland of Stormwind. There, the Alliance forces trapped the retreating Horde within the volcanic fortress of Blackrock Spire. Though Lord Lothar fell in battle at the Spire’s base, his lieutenant, Turalyon, rallied the Alliance forces at the eleventh hour and drove the Horde back into the abysmal Swamp of Sorrows. Turalyon’s forces succeeded in destroying the Dark Portal, the mystical gateway that connected the orcs to their homeworld of Draenor. Cut off from its reinforcements and fractured by infighting, the Horde finally buckled in upon itself and fell before the might of the Alliance.
The scattered orc clans were quickly rounded up and placed within guarded internment camps. Though it seemed that the Horde had been defeated for good, some remained highly skeptical that peace would last. Khadgar, now an Archmage of some reknown, convinced the Alliance high command to build the fortress of Nethergarde that would watch over the ruins of the Dark Portal and ensure that there would be no further invasions from Draenor.
Leader: Regent Lord Anduin Lothar Nation Color: Blue
Background: Before the coming of the Age of Chaos when the Portal was first opened, the kingdom of Azeroth was the mightiest of all Human nations. Ruled by the wise and just King Llane, Azeroth stood as a beacon of light and truth throughout the known world. After the First War, Azeroth and all of its lands were devastated by the Horde. With King Llane dead, Sir Lothar took charge of the shattered armies of Azeroth and led the survivors across the Great Sea to the shores of Lordaeron. King Terenas, ruler of Lordaeron, agreed to support the landless Azerothiens. The peoples of Azeroth settled near the Southshore region of Lordaeron, pledging their loyalty to the Alliance. Battle-hardened and brave, the last of the once great armies of Azeroth now seek retribution for the loss of their homeland.
STROMGARDELeader: Thoras Trollbane Nation Color: Red
Background: The kingdom of Stromgarde retains a strict martial philosophy which makes it a highly regarded addition to the Alliance. Situated among the foothills of the Alterac Mountains, Stromgarde serves as a sentinel against any invasion across the Orc-controlled borders of Khaz Modan. Possessing a long history of warfare against the Trolls, the warriors of Stromgarde are well prepared to engage in open combat with all enemies of humanity.
Leader: Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore
Nation Color: Green
Background: Before the First War, the far ranging merchant ships of Kul’Tiras made it the most prosperous nation in the known world. When the Orcs began to raid the coastal settlements of Lordaeron, Admiral Proudmoore took it upon himself to construct an Armada of Warships. At the behest of his long time friend Anduin Lothar, Proudmoore has pledged the assistance of his merchant-nation to the Alliance.
Leader: Lord Genn Greymane
Nation Color: Black
Background: Despite the impending Orcish invasion, Gilneas has remained separate from the Alliance of Lordaeron. As ruler of one of the strongest Human nations, Genn Greymane is convinced that his own armies can deal with the threat, and has therefore remained unmoved by Lord Lothar’s pleas for unity. Despite this apparent disdain for the Alliance, the denizens of Gilneas harbor no fondness for the Orcs or their allies and are prepared to meet them blade for blade.
Leader: The Kirin-Tor
Nation Color: Violet
Background: Dalaran is a small, magocratic nation ruled by a conclave of Wizards known as the Kirin-Tor. The Capital of Dalaran is the Violet Citadel at Cross Island. This nexus of supernatural forces is home to the four great towers that are sanctum to many of the land’s greatest sorcerers. The Kirin-Tor are strong supporters of the Alliance and to its cause have devoted the knowledge contained within their voluminous libraries as well as the power of their awesome magiks.
Leader: Lord Perenolde
Nation Color: Orange
Background: Alterac is the weakest of the Human nations and is only a minor contributor of troops and equipment to the Alliance. Although Lord Perenolde praises Lothar and Terenas for their ongoing efforts, he is beset by the fear that when the Horde comes, the Alliance will fall, and only the surrender of his forces and his sovereignity will save the lives of his subjects. Perenolde alone knows whether or not – when the final call to arms is sounded – Alterac will fight for its own freedom alongside the other nations of the Alliance.
With the death of the Orcish Warchief Blackhand, his underling Orgrim Doomhammer was quick to seize control over the most powerful of the Orcish forces on Azeroth. Although each day finds other factions growing stronger within the chaotic Horde, it seems certain that all of the clans will follow Orgrim’s plans to hunt down and destroy the renegade Azerothiens wherever they choose to run …
Sir Lothar, in charge of the scattered armies of Azeroth since the death of King Llane, has led his people across the Great Sea to the shores of Lordaeron. By enlisting the armies of Lordaeron, and making new allies in the Elves and Dwarves, a mighty force known as the Alliance has been forged. Now, the last of the once great armies of Azeroth seek retribution for the loss of their homeland.