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Breakfast Topic: The Good of BlizzCon

Believe it or not, I do attempt to be fair. I'm not perfect, I have my biases, but when I wrote yesterday about BlizzCon, I did so knowing that for a lot of people it's been a positive experience. It wasn't my intention then to try and remove that experience for anyone. So, in the spirit of equal time, let me ask you this - have you been to BlizzCon? Have you had a positive experience there?

In years past a lot of my friends, coworkers and guildmates have gone to BlizzCon and enjoyed their experiences. Some have forged long friendships there. All have gotten to play Blizzard games (including various WoW expansions), hang out with people and be social while discussing things they loved, and that's all pretty great from my perspective. I'm not much of a con-goer (I dislike crowds) but I think that's all pretty worthwhile, and is worth mentioning.

So now it's your turn. What's the good of BlizzCon? Do you enjoy lore panels, Q&A sessions, systems discussions? Were you filled with joy when reforging was removed? Share your good times please.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

A plethora of World of Warcraft mysteries

Well, actually the article from Kotaku mentions ten, but I feel strongly that ten is a plethora. The video from the DDG guides covers various commenters questions about what that snake in Gundrak is, what the dwarves dug up in Bael Modan, what happened to Neptulon after he got snatched out of Throne of the Tides, and where Tyr went after he abandoned his Temple in Northrend.

It's pretty neat stuff all told, so go watch it already. Number one is pretty interesting, at least I think so. I go there from time to time via the Stratholme dungeon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore

The WoW Insider Show Episode 353

Every week, join us as we present you with The WoW Insider Show podcast -- an hour's worth of WoW community discussion covering everything from the week's top stories here on WoW Insider to emails from our readers and what's been going on with our particular characters in Azeroth.

Want to have your question answered on the air? Email theshow@wowinsider.com! And don't forget to join us for the live show again next Monday at 8:00 p.m. PDT!

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Filed under: Podcasts, WoW Insider Show

Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?

Okay, I'm sure with a headline like "Is BlizzCon bad for World of Warcraft?" you're already thinking this is it. Rossi has finally snapped. But hear me out for a second. We've had BlizzCons since 2005, before The Burning Crusade was even released. While they haven't happened every year (there was no BlizzCon 2006 and no BlizzCon 2012) it's been fairly regular since its introduction. Last year, Warlords of Draenor was previewed at BlizzCon 2013 - for many of us it's the source of pretty much every opinion we have on the expansion.

That, in fact, is exactly what got me thinking that it's possible that BlizzCon itself is bad for the game, for the game community at large, and for the future of the franchise. BlizzCon, by its very nature, is a hype machine. It's where we learn details about the expansion - its name, its features, its setting and goals - before they are even close to being ready for players. People play demos. Developers give talks about the games. In many ways it's very exciting. I've never been myself, but most of my coworkers and a lot of my in-game friends have. So my argument isn't that BlizzCon itself is bad.

But looking over the past year or so, in terms of Warlords of Draenor and player interaction with it, I start to wonder if having the big reveal at the convention does more harm than good, overall. Expectations are set at the convention - looking at the recent player reaction to the news that Karabor and Bladespire wouldn't be capital cities in Draenor, the issue can in part be traced back to the fact that we were told they would be at BlizzCon. Players (like myself) had months to get excited about the idea of Karabor as a capital city. Then, suddenly, we were told (almost as an afterthought) that no, the capitals were moved to Ashran.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Warlords of Draenor

Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas livestream

Check out WoW Insider's live stream for the new Hearthstone expansion pack: Curse of Naxxramas! Our own Robert Wing will give you the scoop on all the new cards and how they play. If you're interested in Hearthstone, here's your chance to get a glimpse of all the new features in action. Happy card slinging!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Heroes of the Storm: New hero announced

Today a new hero option was announced for Blizzard's MOBA Heroes of the Storm: Rehgar Earthfury. I'm not surprised that Blizzard is giving us a shaman hero--after all, shaman are an iconic group in WoW lore and gameplay--but I am surprised that they've chosen Reghar as the shaman's representative. Compared to more well-known shaman in WoW such as Thrall, Rehgar tends to fly under the radar. He does, however, have his own history and tale to tell. Rehgar is one of the older generation of orcs and was born on Draenor. When Thrall came to power he eventually served as one of his advisors but before that Rehgar was a slave master who owned a particularly infamous gladiator: Varian Wrynn.

Rehgar is a support character who posseses an ability set that goes along with his shaman class: he can turn into a spirit wolf, drop totems, and call upon the elements to aid him in battle. He seems to use a fist weapon for his basic physical attack, and I'm certain he'll have a range of fun shaman specialist attacks to go along with that. Frost Shock had better be on the cards! I'll also be interested to see what additional skins he gets--maybe a Thrall makeover, complete with epic braids?

The announcement of Reghar as a hero makes me very sad that Varian isn't a playable hero option. If you've been playing the alpha or watching streams, you may have noticed that heroes with lore connections in their respective franchises often have more personalized banter when they interact on the battlefield. I would love to see what Rehgar and Varian have to say to each other, but it doesn't seem to be on the cards just yet. Here's hoping for the future!

Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm

The Queue: Beggars, mounters, and dungeon runners


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.

Nice questions in the Queue today. And I must say, it's a nice day out over all.

I just love it when it's 90 and humid.

Hint: I'm being sarcastic... very sarcastic.

Jeff "The Dude" LaBowski asked:

Why isn't begging for gold in WoW a ban worthy offense? Other than duel spam or guild invite spam, it's gotta be the most annoying thing.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth Beta Edition: Keep your eyes on the road

"I'm really enjoying the scenery in Draenor," writes beta tester Gimmlette of Spectacular Death on Llane (US-A). "I have several screenshots I could see printing as art because some places are just beautiful. I like what the designers have done with draenei architecture, although there are some things I can't unsee now. I was running up to this building to complete a quest and came to a dead stop. It's looking at me; two eyes and a hat and and empty socket for a nose. Now that I've seen a face with this building, I'm seeing it in other buildings of this style. They're watching us. Where's my tinfoil hat?"

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: Do you want to keep your old face?

In my extremely accurate and scientific polling (I read some twitter) I have discovered that one of Blizzard's biggest fears for the new character models seems to have been pretty accurate. Even though they've said (multiple times) that the faces on the new models are still a work in progress, I keep seeing the same reaction over and over again - "I really like the new models but my character's face has changed and now it's not as good/not my character." If you remember back to 2009, when the when are they going to update character models talk started being bandied about, you'll remember that being one of Blizzard's biggest arguments against doing it - people get very attached to their characters and think of them in a way that makes them very dangerous to tinker with.

So far it seems like people have a Not My Character's Face policy towards the revamp - they like how the new models are more detailed and are in general much more fluid and animated, but they still don't like it when the faces change.

So how about you? How attached to your character's face?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

The WoW Insider Show Goes Live

Tonight we're going live at 8:00 p.m. PDT / 11:00 p.m. EDT with the WoW Insider Show. You can join us right above with the live stream or head over to our Twitch.TV page and chat with us there. If you can't make the show don't worry! It'll be posted on iTunes tomorrow, along with a full recording right here.

Remember that we need to keep the chat civil, so there are mods about to make sure everyone plays nice. Thanks for stopping by!

Filed under: WoW Insider Show