Chains of Domination, the newest update on its way to World Of Warcraft, will offer players a giant rideable tree by the name of The Wandering Ancient.
Chains of Domination (did they check that title before it got the green light?) is the biggest update to the Shadowlands expansion that we've seen thus far. Announced during BlizzConline, it boasts the Sanctum of Domination with ten brutal bosses, culminating with a battle against Sylvanas Windrunner. Tazavesh, the Veiled Market is a megadungeon split into two, offering a heist to chase down the broker who ran off with the artefact through a number of portals, locations, and bosses. A new outdoor zone will be added - Korthia, the City of Secrets - and players will outsmart The Jailer and the Covenants to discover what's really going on in the heart of the Shadowlands. And, as per, the second season will have boosted item levels and season-specific items to snap up.
All of this is very well and good. But, truly, the star of the Chains of Domination update is The Wandering Ancient. A sentient tree, stomping relentlessly onwards with lumbering arms and a bountiful beard of leaves, principal game designer Jeremy Feasel was thrilled to introduce the creature. The World Of Warcraft community were tasked with a survey asking what they would like as a new mount in the game, in order to bring the fans and the developers closer together. There was a range of possibilities: a giant book, a jelly cat, a caterpillar, a spider... "The Wandering Ancient was the most popular choice by far," said Feasel in an interview with GameSpot. "By a wide margin, everywhere, riding a giant walking tree won."
The people have spoken. I'm sure a great many of those players were inspired by The Lord of the Rings, where the hobbits Merry and Pippin encounter the wise old Treebeard, leading to some of the funniest scenes in the series. "There's this mythology of riding on top of a giant tree," continued Feasel. "But also, Night Elves have this long and extensive lore about ancient protectors and ... it goes all the way back to Warcraft 3. I feel like there is a sect of the player base that has always wanted to ride one of those things. They finally got their way."
What's more, The Wandering Ancient will transform depending on the season - from verdant green branches, to gold and red leaves, to still and grey foliage. Its special ability shakes the tree, so leaves will scatter across the earth, and there are even "unique extra little things" to be revealed about the mount. It's imagined that Chains of Domination will land in April, as patch 9.0.5 is scheduled for March and public testing takes about four to six weeks.
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