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Get your Thundering Serpent Hatchling while you can

Challenge modes will be making an exit with the launch of Patch 6.0.2 -- players looking to get their Challenge Mode gear should do so before the patch hits. But one of the sometimes overlooked bonuses of Challenge Modes is going away as well. The Thundering Serpent Hatchling, a reward from the Challenge Conquerors: Gold - Guild Edition achievement, will also be taking its leave with the release of the patch, according to a tweet by Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft.

Players might not know about this sparky little Battle Pet, especially if they've recently joined a guild. The Thundering Serpent Hatchling isn't rewarded solely to the people that earned the achievement for the guild, it's a pet that is unlocked on the Guild Vendor. Anyone with at least Revered guild reputation can purchase it, but the serpent cannot at this time be caged -- which means you aren't going to find this little guy floating around on the Auction House. If you haven't picked him up yet, you might want to do so now -- because there's been no mention made of any possible future return.

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Mortal Kombat

If you're looking to get more war into Warcraft, this machinima parody may be for you. Presenting a WoW arena match in the classic Mortal Kombat style, this video doesn't quite match the play style of either game, though it does manage to mimic both. WoW combat doesn't quite lend itself to something as fast-paced as Mortal Kombat, while Mortal Kombat lacks WoW's depth of abilities (things like polymorph and ice block would simply be gamebreaking). The end result of combining these two systems definitely bends the game rules of both WoW and Mortal Kombat to create something that will be familiar (at least familiar-ish) to players of either game.

So would you play a Warcraft-ized version of Mortal Kombat -- or are the originals good enough for your game?
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

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

All hail Grommloc

If you were wondering what the BlizzCon 2014 pet was going to be, wonder no more, for it is Grommloc, the mightiest of murlocs. Announced via the official World of Warcraft twitter, this little guy will be available for those of us who get to attend BlizzCon this year, as well as those of us who purchase the Virtual Ticket. Personally, I find his little Gorehowl so freaking cute I can't damn well stand it. I hope he yells We will never mrrghlgrlrble slaves at some point, I really do.

Oh, man, we need a lil' Pit Lord pet now for Grommloc to whack with his axe. Tiny murloc Mannoroth! You have to make this happen, Blizz.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Blizzard debuts Engineer's Workshop

It's always interesting to get more behind the scenes about how World of Warcraft is created, and Blizzard is doing exactly that with the all-new Engineer's Workshop series of posts. This week's column is about anti-aliasing and the new technology Blizzard is using to help evolve the game engine and update it going forward. Keep in mind, World of Warcraft is a ten year old game, and graphic updates like these are necessarily planned out to keep the game's look from sliding into obsolescence.

I admit I'm no expert on the technology being discussed, but if you are, here's a nice summary to get you started on explaining the whole thing to me in the comments. Use small words.

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

Warlords of Draenor Beta: Monk and Warrior Changes

Last nigh Celestalon posted two interesting bits of information on the beta, one for mistweaver monks and the other for fury warriors. First we'll cover the mistweaver change - Renewing Mist is headed back to being somewhat of a smart heal.
Celestalon - Mistweaver Consolidated Feedback
Hey again. Wanted to pop back in and let you know about an upcoming change that we're making to help out with how unreliable Mistweaver AoE healing feels.
  • Renewing Mist will now jump to the lowest health target within 20 yards.
  • Still prioritizes targets that don't already have Renewing Mist on them over those that do.
  • Glyph of Renewing Mist now simply increases the max jump range to 40 yards.
It's important to note that this is a not an indication of us returning to having a lot of smart heals. But in this specific circumstance, we believe that it's the right course of action. This should ensure that Renewing Mist and Uplift healing is consistently effective, while still being uncontrolled.

I'm not a monk player, so I can only say I hope this is good news for y'all - it looks to me like it would be helpful. Also last night, Celestalon posted about a huge change to fury warriors - Colossus Smash is now an arms only ability.

Read more →

Filed under: Warrior, Monk, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Merely a setback

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) has invaded the Queue today.

Just when I thought I'd finally gotten rid of him, Millhouse Manastorm has shown his face again, this time casually dining upstairs in my garrison's inn on the beta. Apparently being eaten by a giant mutant crystal worm was merely a setback. ... at least he isn't trying to summon Kil'jaeden or anything, I guess?

JordanPhillips asked:

q4tq: if UBRS is being revamped to be max level, what happens to LBRS? If I recall correctly, both UBRS/LBRS utilize the same starting entrance area.

They are actually two separate instances, now! The main entryway when you zone in right now is un-instanced on the beta, and the once-locked door to UBRS is now an instance portal. There's a portal to LBRS under the bridge. I sort of wish I still had my UBRS key now, because as of 6.0.2, it's a completely useless relic of a bygone era.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: I still see dead people

"The link above is from over a year ago," writes submitter Shadanah of The Wolves of War on Hyjal (US-H), who has apparently had a very long summer that has destroyed his ability to measure the passage of time. "I returned to my farm, found a dead guy, prayed over him, and went on about my business. I came back home again, a year later, and I find this. Why do you do this to me, Blizzard?"

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to 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: Beta is beta

You hear it all the time. Never count the beta as done until the beta is done. Never assume things are what you think they're going to be until we're told they're in the final stages. And even then, things can change. It's actually one of the things I like most about World of Warcraft's beta tests, the idea that you get to experience and test and report on things, and see those reports take life and actually have an impact on the game's design.

Yes, I know I used a warrior specific example. But other classes have seen design changes like this over the years, and it's interesting to see whenever it happens. Whole zones have been redesigned suddenly from time to time, like when Jade Forest got taken down and completely redesigned during the Mists of Pandaria beta. It just goes to show that you can never be sure the beta is actually what you'll get in the live game.

So now for those of you who've played in betas from the Burning Crusade to now, I ask you, what's been the biggest surprise change you can remember?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Moviewatch: Five Nights at UBRS

I haven't personally played Five Nights at Freddy's -- partially due to time constraints, partially because I'm not the world's biggest fan of hunkering down in front of the computer for a pleasant evening of deliberately scaring the heck out of myself. But I've watched enough streams of people playing the game that Ian Beckman's latest machinima, Five Nights at UBRS, immediately had me laughing right off the bat. Sure, it was just a short clip, and in comparison to his other works the editing and video were pretty simplistic, but he nailed the parody, and that's really all that counts here.

This also seems like it's going to be the first in a string of game parody videos, and Ian's taking suggestions for what people would like to see next. Personally, I think if he's going to shoot for the horror genre, I'd love to see what he could do with Silent Hill. But then I wouldn't mind seeing some non-horror games in the mix, either -- a parody of Animal Crossing featuring garrisons, anyone? What do you guys want to see? Be sure to visit Ian's Youtube channel and leave your suggestions.

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

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Legendary cloak quest line to be removed, buff extended

Some pretty big news for the legendary cloak today has been announced. In brief:
  • When patch 6.0.2 drops, unless you're on the quest chain, you'll no longer be able to start the quests.
  • When Warlords of Draenor releases, you'll no longer be able to start the quest chain or complete it. All traces of the quests will be removed. If you have your cloak, it will stay.
  • The Gaze of the Black Prince buff has been extended until patch 6.0.2 releases.
This is good news for those already on the quests and rushing to finish things up... but it certainly puts a deadline on the completion of the chain.

The clock is ticking! Blizzard's full post below.

Blizzard Entertainment
As a part of the transition from Mists of Pandaria to Warlords of Draenor, we'll be making some changes to the Legendary Cloak quest line and ultimately closing it out as players head into the new expansion. Once the quest is fully closed, the item will no longer be attainable, and the cloak will become a symbol of the great deeds you've accomplished in Mists of Pandaria.

With the release of the pre-expansion patch (6.0.2), players who are not already on the journey through this quest line will no longer be able to begin it. We will also be removing the Test of Valor step with patch 6.0.2 as a part of our transition from using Valor as a currency.

Once Warlords of Draenor launches on November 13, the Legendary Cloak quest line will be gone entirely-the quests and the cloak will no longer be obtainable, and any related in-progress quests will be cleared from your log.

But when one door closes, another door opens. In Warlords of Draenor, players will have the opportunity to earn a new Legendary item available exclusively in the new expansion: Khadgar's Band of the Archmage.
The Gaze of the Black Prince: One Last Look

If you haven't yet earned your Legendary Cloak, you still have one final opportunity to make accelerated progress on your quest. Rather than end the Gaze of the Black Prince buff on Tuesday, September 16 (as previously announced), the buff will remain active until the release of the Warlords of Draenor pre-patch (6.0.2). This buff increases the reputation gained with the Black Prince by 100%. It also increases the chance of obtaining items from his foes needed as a part of the Legendary Cloak quest line, including Secrets of the Empire, Sigil of Wisdom, Sigil of Power, and Titan Runestones.

Good luck on your quest, but remember that your voyage doesn't end here. Soon, you'll be setting your sights on the new Legendary item, Khadgar's Band of the Archmage, in Warlords of Draenor.

Filed under: News items