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War Crimes novel release date details

So if you're wondering when War Crimes (the upcoming Christie Golden novel about post-Siege of Orgrimmar Garrosh Hellscream and his trial) will be released, we have the details straight from author Christie Golden's Twitter account.
So not only do you know that the book will be released on May 6th, but if you just can't wait that long, you can go to Denver to the StarFest convention and snag a copy there three days early. I'm not saying you have to do this, nor am I saying to get me a copy while you're there, but I wouldn't mind it, either.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords, models, and performance

We all know that Warlords of Draenor is bringing a much-desired and long-awaited feature in new character models, and understandably, there's concern about the impact on PC performance. WoW Insider reported on EU Community Manager Taepsilum's post on the forums, which has since been updated to indicate that there is no requirement to run the game on Low settings to use the old models. Instead, the toggle which has been seen in the Alpha is set to remain.

Taepsilum's assertions that you won't need a new computer are, perhaps, bold. Gamespot has picked up on them for an article, and asserts that you "probably" won't need a new machine. This is accurate, with the key word being "probably". If you're currently only able to run the game at 8FPS on Low settings, it's pretty likely that Warlords of Draenor will push your system over the edge.

Let's be realistic here. World of Warcraft has pretty amazing performance on older machines. A little while ago I asked on Twitter about players running it on low-spec systems, and it will let you run the game on some pretty archaic specs. Performance is about what you can do with the game, and is subjective. I'm happy with the graphical quality I get out of WoW on my machine, but to friends with higher level systems, it looks awful.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

I haven't touched my boosted character


I went and pre-ordered Warlords of Draenor along with everyone else a couple months ago (well, most everyone else, it seems like). I'd been thinking about which character I wanted to boost up to 90 and get maxed professions with for a while, and after a fair amount of time I took the jump and maxed out my rogue.

After the boost I played around on it a little bit. Did some timeless isle, ran some troll raids, and that was that. She just sits there now, not moving, not doing anything in particular. I've parked her next to a pet trainer. Occasionally I'll log on to her and battle the trainer whenever I remember to -- so that's a nice thing, I guess.

But you know what? For me the character became pointless, just a thing sitting there that doesn't get any attention or play time. I might as well have left her at 61, forever toiling around Mount Hyjal

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Azeroth Choppers premieres first episode of new webseries

Episode 1 of Azeroth Choppers, the new webseries featuring Paul Jr. of American Chopper is now officially available. As the premiere epiosde in the series, it's a pretty good introduction to what we're going to see -- two unique bikes being built, one Alliance themed, one Horde themed. At some point, players will get to vote on which design they'd like to see officially placed in World of Warcraft. While the initial reaction from myself was a resounding "What," I have to say I'm pretty excited to see where the series is going to go. I like shows that highlight building things, or even restoring old antiques back to their original beauty.

That said, I wasn't expecting much from the premiere episode, and I got pretty much what I expected. First episodes are usually just an introduction to what we're going to see down the line -- and that's exactly what this is, an introduction. However, the episode did manage to surprise me with some shots of frames that had already been built. Honestly, I'm just wanting to see the actual production and construction itself -- which isn't something you can really just jump into point-blank in one short web episode. But hey, at least I'm looking forward to next week, right? Take a look at the full episode above, and hit the official website if you're wondering exactly what we're going to see out of Azeroth Choppers in the future.

Filed under: News items

Compare new and old female gnome model animations

Though we saw some brief previews at BlizzCon -- and detailed Artcraft posts on certain races since -- we're still waiting on the official unveil for many of the updated character models coming in Warlords of Draenor. But for those of us who can't stand to wait any longer, Wowhead's model viewer offers previews of female and male gnomes, female and male orcs, female and male dwarves, and male tauren.

But if you're particularly interested in gnomes, like I am, you'll be especially interested in this video preview of the updated female gnome model complete with animations and emotes. Compared side by side, the new animations -- especially the facial animations, which bring a lot of life and personality to the character -- are pretty stunning. Keep your eyes open for more videos from Wowhead -- and more Artcraft posts from Blizzard featuring the remaining races.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: WoD being late, undead, fun with portals, ignore

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Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

You know one of the things that bug me about WoW? Is how low resolution the grass, flowers, and trees are. I don't know why it bugs me so much, but it does.

Smartz asked:

Will Blizzard ever come out and say why WoD came out so late? I definitely don't think they'd talk about it before WoD launches, but I could see them talking about it afterwards.

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Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: A delightful distraction

Aaaah, look at the adorable pugs, all dressed up and out on a date! See how she nuzzles his neck with her soft jiggly-wiggly velvet face! Surely there could be nothing sinister in such a display, could there? Of course not. That feeling of a rogue behind you about to steal your gold before sliding a knife between your ribs is just a paranoid delusion. Just keep looking at the puppies and no one has to get hurt ... more than necessary, that is. (Thanks to submitters Zendara and Scourgehoof of Assume the Position on Zul'jin [US-H] for the screenshot!)

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: Please let it never rise again

An eldritch abomination, a horror that cannot be borne. I'm talking about the Horde side Onyxia attunement quest chain. To this day I can't think of a single quest chain or attunement as bad, not even the ridiculously labyrinthine series of attunements required in The Burning Crusade, because the Horde attunement had the added difficulty of a turn-in NPC who moved around. Rexxar's daily wander up and down the road from Desolance to the top of Feralas and back made finding him for this quest absolutely nightmarish in the time before flight. All you could do was ride up and down hoping to find him, and doubly hoping a group of Alliance hadn't killed him on their way to or from something like a Dragon of Nightmare (one spawned in northern Feralas at the time). It was seriously quite insanely irritating.

So yes, it must never be brought back in any shape or form. To do so would be abominable.

What's your biggest "Let this never happen again" moment in WoW?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Watch out for Warlords of Draenor phishing scams

With another expansion looming on the horizon, there's another round of phishing scams and emails designed to trick you into giving up your account information. With this kind of scam, you get an email or visit a website that's so much like Blizzard's that you wind up typing in your login information, which the scammers then use to pick your account clean. Though you may think this is the sort of thing people only fall pray to when they aren't paying attention, phishing scams get more sophisticated -- and harder to recognize -- every day, so you need to keep your guard up.

Take this Warlords of Draenor phishing scam reported by Malwarebytes as an example. It starts off with an email that's formatted like a message from Blizzard saying you've won a free copy of Warlords -- which is really where you should get suspicious. Once you click on the link in the email, you're sent to a perfect copy of the Battle.net login screen where you're asked to enter your login information as well as your secret question and answer before you can redeem your free copy... but of course the scammers just run off with your info without giving you a thing.

To avoid being had, always check the header to see where an email has come from -- Blizzard emails will only come from an @blizzard.com address -- and if an offer sounds too good to be true, contact Blizzard directly to ask about it. For more tips on avoiding phishing, check out the support page on phishing scams.

Filed under: Account Security, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Flight path reassurance

Community Manager Bashiok has posted on the official forums in an attempt to calm players' fears about the enforced dependence on flight-paths that will come with Warlords of Draenor.

Bashiok
We're going to be making sure flight paths and other forms of travel are quick and efficient, with a goal of getting you to the places you want to go. Flight paths in the past have always been "the scenic route", lazily listing from side to side and around waterfalls to the intended oohs-and-aahs of the transportee. The flight paths in Draenor are not going to be loop-de-loop sightseeing tours, and we're going to be looking to our beta testers to let us know if any are less than tip-top.

The key to his point here is the directness. Especially in Mists, flight paths were gratuitously looping and indirect. The Horde shrine from the PvP vendor, for example, does a series of completely arbitrary tours around the shrine before actually landing. Hopefully this will not be the case in Warlords.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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