Your big beautiful beefy bulwark of badass.

And the veil was torn

(Hi.  This post originally linked to the WoW Cataclysm Friends and Family alpha screenshot content posted on MMO Champion in early May.  Blizzard asked MMO-C to take down the content as it violated the non-disclosure agreement.  MMO-C promptly complied.  Since the content that I linked to and referred to is gone, I’ve gone to the Joseph Stalin One-Hour Photo Retouching Studio and I’ve removed that section of this post.  I’ve left the section below intact, because it discusses my views on alphas and betas in general and how people–me included–sometimes overreact about things that are still very much in flux.  Also, if you are one of the lucky bastards that is actually in the alpha, remember, you’re under an NDA.  No spoilers here plox.  Thank you.)

Now.  You’ll notice all I’ve done is talk in general (albeit gushing) terms about how good it looks.  I haven’t said word one about the other stuff that got leaked–new items, new enchants, even new talent calculators.

And I won’t.

Why?  Because this stuff will change.  It always does.  This is frigging alpha, people.  Do you remember what the Wrath of the Lich King talent calculators looked like in alpha, and what they looked like on release day?  MASSIVE changes.  Numbers will be tweaked, talents will appear and move and disappear, spells will be buffed and nerfed again and again and again based on internal and external playtesting and feedback.  Why are you going to get your panties wadded up over an “underpowered” or “overpowered” talent that stands a damn good chance of not even being in the game when you finally get in line for that midnight release party?  Do not lose your cookies over anything you see there.  Blizzard has already given us their general pathways for our classes, and some specifics, in the class previews.  Go with that for now, and don’t stroke out over incomplete alpha talent calculators.

And finally, a thought.  The Cataclysm “friends and family” alpha is, supposedly, under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) of some sort.  Well, we see how well that worked, right?  Two days in and already we have this immense flood of hundreds of screenshots and tons of detail information ripped right out of the alpha…and it’s generating huge buzz all over the WoW community.  So if you’re one of the Powers That Be at the Blizzard Mothership back in Irvine, how do you feel right now?  Are you pissed off that the NDA got so flagrantly violated?  Or are you pleased with the crazy fever-pitch intensity of the glee people have at seeing this stuff?  Or perhaps some of both?

12 responses

  1. Just a note, Linedan – MMO Champion published the screenshots because the NDA was lifted 🙂

    May 6, 2010 at 12:58

    • That’s not what Blizzard was saying earlier today, though:

      May 6, 2010 at 13:01

      • Actually the NDA was not lifted the poster in MMO-Champions had gotten word that the Catalyst client had been leaked and datamined. He therefore decided he would scoop the dataminers.

        To my knowledge the NDA is still in effect.

        May 6, 2010 at 16:07

  2. That is Desolace? Holy cow.

    I wonder what Silvermoon would look like. If you don’t tilt the camera up, you forget you’re in an outside area. Of course, it never rains inside one of these cities because the server lag would be incredibly heavy.

    May 6, 2010 at 14:20

  3. I really feel that part of the reason for the blatant disregard for NDA is that if they follow the same schedule we’re not looking at Cata till late November.

    Now we’ve seen how nicely polished the content is (if you’ve looked) and art has always been a major sticking point. So it may not be that long.
    At least I hope not.

    May 6, 2010 at 17:45

  4. Kaelh

    OMG! I will just say Amazing! Amazing! Thanks Linedan i read you everyday… when Im at work lol U make my day 😛

    May 7, 2010 at 04:00

  5. Sanderth

    You were indeed right, the capitals have been significantly overhauled, and not just Orgrimmar. Thus far though Orgrimmar is still the most stunning and radical of the changes; even the fundamental character of the city is changed now, just as you said, something that has me both impressed and slightly worried for the Horde.

    What seems to be worth noting thus far is not just what’s changed, but what doesn’t seem to have changed, at least not yet. It’s hard to tell whether this is just because they haven’t gotten around to it yet though, or whether those zones aren’t really changing much in Cataclysm.

    If screenshots are a glimpse at the future, then the Western Plaguelands are among the most stunning and slightly alarming ones, though. It’s impossible to say much more without spoilers, but the one thing one could say is that it’s going to get messy there. Very, very messy.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:39

  6. (Link removed because the content was removed by MMO Champion. Trust me, it was really pretty, though.)


    /drool /spaz /geekout ACK!

    May 7, 2010 at 10:52

    • Makes sense, actually.

      The Alliance has the subway tram, so why not the Horde? The Horde’s tech would be getting a (dubious) boost from the Goblins, and if what I’ve heard about Ashenvale is true, then having a connection between there and Org will make sense.

      Not that I’d trust Goblins to run it, however.

      May 7, 2010 at 11:00

      • I’m hoping the Azshara highway gets expanded – finally, somewhere suitable to ride my chopper!

        May 9, 2010 at 09:04

  7. The new screenshots do look nice but I’m also a little skeptical about how much of it is just the screenshot polish affect we see a lot. Plus, it’s the old world just gonna look really strange with all of those outdated character models running about?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited as hell! 🙂 Just wish they were revamping the character models whilst they were at it 😉

    May 8, 2010 at 14:13

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