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The 2014 North American WoW arena tournament

Arena qualifying tree
BlizzCon 2014 is on the horizon, getting steadily closer every day, and thus so is the 2014 World of Warcraft Arena Invitational World Championship. If you're a player on the North American servers--which include North America, Oceania, parts of Southeast Asia, and South America--your chance to qualify for the tournament is coming up in the next few weeks. In order to be eligible for the North American Arena Tournament your 3v3 team must have a minimum rating of 2500 by August 25, 2014. The tournament will be a double-elimination with teams competing in a best of five match format. At the end of the tournament, the top three teams from North America will be invited to BlizzCon to compete against five additional teams from around the world for the championship title.

Think you have what it takes to compete at BlizzCon for a piece of the $250,000 purse? Time to get your teams ready and push for that 2500 rating by August 25th. Good luck to all the competitors!

Filed under: Events, PvP, BlizzCon

Log in before September 30 to claim your Horde chopper

The Azeroth Choppers webseries ended as most expected. In a battle of faction pride, the Horde is going to come out on top every time. Of course, it probably didn't help that the Alliance bike looked like some kind of gross beetle, but that discussion is probably best left in the past. As the winners, the Horde will receive their faction-themed bike come Warlords of Draenor. However, a stipulation was announced last night: to flag your account to receive the mount, you must log into the game between now and September 30, 2014.

For the sake of clarity: you can claim your mount right now (and need to do so before September 30) but you won't receive it until Warlords of Draenor's launch.

Filed under: News items

Blizzard unveils new products at San Diego Comic-Con

Blizzard revealed a fresh suite of swag at San Diego Comic-Con this week. Their new offerings include a pin program, hoodies featuring artwork from Carbot, new plushies, new figurines, and more. It appears Blizzard's licensing trend is to make everything freaking adorable. I, for one, am perfectly okay with that.

You can see some of their new products on their Battle.net panel recap or in our gallery of pictures from the show floor below.

Filed under: News items

Beta raid testing rescheduled to Monday

According to Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Warlords of Draenor beta raid test that was planned for today, has been rescheduled for Monday.
Raid Testing Schedule - July 25 (CANCELED)
So, sometimes things literally catch fire.

We were hoping we could get the servers up in time for the scheduled raid test, but that's looking unlikely. Servers should be up today, but I'd rather not speculate while everyone is waiting on the off-chance that testing will happen.

I'll post a new schedule for Monday testing, in a short while.


It's really unfortunate that the raid test had to be delayed - I was hoping to get a look at some of the new mechanics, get a feel for how raiding is going to work in Warlords, but I'll admit to understanding the motivation for postponing it. It's not likely that the servers will be as stable as one would hope, and sitting around waiting for them to be up doesn't make for a good, focused group to really test the content.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Pandaren, Tanaan, Gundrak's mystery tail

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Matthew Rossi will be your host today.

In today's Queue, I am probably going to outright anger some of you. Try and keep it civil in the comments, as I will when I give the answer that will anger you.

Angerfork asks:
What is your take on Tanaan coming out in a future content patch & how it was communicated?

In case you're wondering, this is how it was communicated - by a tweet from Community Manager Lore.
If you're curious, my take on it is it's his job to do exactly this - answer player questions. He did so in a clear, concise and not at all disrespectful or antagonistic way. If you then look at the responses to his tweet, they're rude, condescending, and boorishly aggressive for the most part. Quite frankly, they're not worth responding to. Lore did his job, and there's no reason to be upset with him for how he did it. The argument that we should have known this sooner and it shows a lack of transparency from Blizzard doesn't work for me either - it's not like with Karabor or Bladespire, where we were told 'these will be capitals' and then later 'they won't be, sorry'.

As for the idea of Tanaan coming out in a later content patch, frankly, I don't see the problem. We already knew Farahlon would be similarly released after the expansion - we'll get to see Tanaan when we come through the Dark Portal, then start our leveling process in one of the two starting zones, and then have Gorgrond, Talador, Spires of Arak, and Nagrand to level through, so a total of six zones available at launch, five per faction. Considering how huge the zones are, it's not like we're going to be starving for content - each zone so far has had subzones within it with special level 100 content.

Basically, I find the idea that everything Blizzard says is greeted with extreme cynicism and doomsaying to be getting crazy old. Does Blizzard make mistakes? Sure they do. All the damn time. Having Mists of Pandaria last this long was a huge mistake, for instance. Do they do things each and every one of us might find questionable? Of course. But when a CM can't even make a simple post clarifying when a zone will be available without enduring sneering contempt, we need to dial it back. Especially when considering that CM's don't design the game. Getting angry with a CM over what he or she tells you is as pointless as flipping out at the guy behind the counter at Starbucks for the company's policy on how it treats small coffee farmers. (This is just an example, for all I know Starbucks has a great policy towards the independent coffer grower.)

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Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: Purple haze

The stats on the legendary cloaks might become outdated once Warlords of Draenor drops, but I'm willing to bet that they'll be a stable in transmog sets for years to come. Submitter Lynorah of Gquit on Earthen Ring (US-H) combined her Xing-Ho cloak, Tyrael's Charger and our old friend Shadowform to create this lovely screenshot. She needs to be careful, though -- the tendrils from her cloak and mount look like they could get caught on an outcropping and cause a nasty crash.

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Include "Azeroth" in the subject line to ensure your submission dodges email spam filters; if you'd like to be credited, also include your name, guild and realm.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Breakfast Topic: Relaxing about the beta

I don't know why but I find the beta period incredibly chill. There are no worries. If stuff is broken, I report it. If the content feels weak, I make a forum post saying so. I don't worry about the level ranges for expansion zones, I didn't even get all that worked up over the change to the faction capitals (although I personally didn't like the idea, it didn't work me up). One of the reasons I think I am this way is because, to me, the beta is supposed to be a place where boxes attack me and bears come up out of the ground like sharks to assault me. I expect madness and broken quests and bugginess in my beta experience. It's what the beta is - not just a place where testing can determine what quests are broken, but also a place to roll out content and examine how the experience works.

I don't know. Lately it feels like the forums and twitter have just blown up with ludicrous, over the top negativity for no reason, to the point where a simple tweet about when Tanaan will be released drives players crazy. Yes, stuff is going to change, break, not work right, and not be what you expected. It's the beta. That's how it goes. That's how it's always gone.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Moviewatch: Westfall Pumpkins

Westfall Pumpkins is a tale of not-so-friendly competition between two determined farmers entering into a pumpkin-growing contest. Like any good rivalry, the pair are in no way content to let the other do their thing, and just can't bear to be outdone. In Azeroth, though, we know that nobody is content to let nature simply take its course, and so alchemy, magic, and an impressive judging panel rule the day in this entertaining tale of gardening gone wrong. Whose pumpkin will take home the blue ribbon? You'll have to watch to find out.
Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Hearthstone: Arachnid Quarter guide


Curse of Naxxramas' initial wing launched on Tuesday, much to the delight of eager fans. The Arachnid Quarter features exactly what Warcraft veterans should expect, that being a lot of spiders. Anub'Rekhan, Grand Widow Faerlina and Maexxna serve as the first trials thrown at adventurers looking to fight their way to the nefarious lich Kel'thuzad. Today, we'll go over a bit about what these baddies do, and how best to crush them.

Anub'Rekhan

The Traitor King boasts a couple of unique mechanics that are worth making note of. His hero power Skitter allows him to summon a 3/1 Nerubian for two mana. On heroic mode, it's a 4/4 Nerubian for two, which is pretty brutal. Anub'Rekhan also has access to a unique card called Anub'ar Swarm, which can really just ruin your day if you don't expect it. It costs a whopping seven mana, but does three damage to all of your minions and heals Anub'Rekhan for three health. Definitely prepare yourself for that, come turn seven. Beyond that, this fight's not too difficult. Anub'Rekhan has access to the rogue specific Curse of Naxxramas card Anub'ar Ambusher, and while 5/5's nothing to scoff at, destroying it will force another random minion on the board back into his hand, assuming there's anything he has anything else in play. It doesn't permanently deal with the threat, but it does buy you time to develop your board in response. Also of note, expect a strange blend of warlock and mage spells, specifically Shadow Bolt, Mortal Coil and Frostbolt.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Latest Warlords beta build opens new zones, increases level cap

The beta forums are abuzz with discussion of an upcoming beta build -- the servers are down for maintenance this afternoon. Two new zones, Nagrand and Spires of Arak, will be open for testing, and the level cap is increasing to 100. The leveling portion of the beta is moving along at a steady clip now. Though there are still many major bugs with fixes in progress, nearly every leveling zone will now be open for testing.

In addition, the new beta build will be renaming beta realms for clarity. They will lose their unique names, and instead be given names that are simple descriptors.
  • Lost Isles (PvE) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 01
  • Gilneas (PvP) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 02
  • Mekkatorque (PvP) is being renamed to Level 100 PvP
While these clear descriptions are far more useful than their old names, I'll miss having the ability to personify Lost Isles. Cursing its name aloud each time it crashed was cathartic. Screaming Beta Leveling Realm 01 to the heavens doesn't quite have the same effect.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor