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Dungeon Hotfixes, Need before Greed now default

When Warlords of Draenor launched, it brought with it a new loot system - the personal loot of Raid Finder was now in place for dungeons. There were advantages and disadvantages to this - one of the advantages was that loot didn't drop that no one wanted, for example. But a lot of players found it a less than compelling system.

And apparently their voices have been heard, because it's back, baby. Rygarius posted a host of dungeon and raid hotfixes, including but not limited to the return of Need before Greed as the default loot system in dungeons. What else is happening?
  • Completing your first Heroic Warlords dungeon nets you a reward of 50 Garrison Resources.
  • The return of the Call to Arms feature for in-demand roles like tanks and healers.
  • You will now once again be able to queue for dungeons from the Ashram cities of Stormshield and Warspear.
What do you think of these changes?

Filed under: News items, Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

Around Azeroth: Unfinished business

"Hey there, AA!" writes today's submitter. "It's me again, your old pal -- oh. Hmmm. Maybe I ought to keep my identity on the DL for this one. You can just call me ... Deep Gnome. You see, today's screenshots are extra secret. Really juicy. Eyes-only kind of stuff. And by "eyes-only" I guess I mean everyone's eyes, since I'm giving it to you to show everyone.

Anyway, on to the pictures. I was messing around in game and found myself seeing the future! Or rather, the past. Er ... the future of the past. Yeah. It's the unfinished Tanaan Jungle as it is in game right now! This is a screenshot of that classic fortress, Hellfire Citadel (Tanaan Citadel?) As you can see, it's partially untextured. There's little else of interest in the zone so far. There's one strange rock formation, but I didn't think it picture-worthy.

Anyway, I hope you liked this glimpse of the forbidden, but that's it for to- Oh, my God. They found me. I don't know how, but they found me. Run for it!"
[TRANSMISSION ENDED]

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: Happy birthday, WoW!

Admittedly, we're sending World of Warcraft its birthday wishes a little early -- the game officially launched on November 23rd, 2004 -- but since the 10th anniversary event kicks off today, it seems fair. Ten years is a good long run for any game, but Blizzard certainly isn't calling it quits yet.

Since we're celebrating it seems like a great time to look back on our time in WoW, so today let's talk about our favorite WoW memories. How long have you been playing? What's your first memory of World of Warcraft? And will you be joining in the anniversary events to celebrate the nostalgia?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW's 10th Anniversary celebration starts tomorrow

It's kind of amazing to realize that WoW turns 10 tomorrow, and we get Molten Core and Southshore vs. Tarren Mill to celebrate. The fine folks at Wowhead have a detailed guide to the anniversary for you to look over. You can get an epic ilevel 640 helm, a weapon glow effect, mounts and pets from MC, titles from the new battleground, and of course the celebration package in the mail with an item to boost your reputation gain with Warlords factions.

It's not often that an MMO gets to be this big this long. We even got to see 10 million subscriptions for the 10th anniversary. Party time!

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard on Garrison Invasions

Garrison Invasions, how do they work? Well, Blizzard decided to go ahead and explain exactly that. Some players have been confused by seeing the introductory Garrison Invasion restricted to Rank 2 of the Garrison, and thought that the Invasions had been removed from Rank 3. Not the case, says Nethaera.

Nethaera - Garrison Invasions and You
We've been seeing a lot of confusion in regard to the way Garrison Invasions work and we wanted to take some time to clear up this confusion for you.

Most players will get their first taste of what Invasions will be like when they get into Tier 2 of their Garrison. Approximately midway through Frostfire Ridge or Shadowmoon Valley, a player's Garrison will be attacked either by a Thunderlord or Shadowmoon force. The quest is just a taste of what this type of gameplay offers but it's not a full blown invasion just yet. It's a way to get your feet wet and experience just a bit of what it will be like when you reach max level. For those who move quickly into their 3rd tier before getting this event, don't worry. You haven't missed out on any special rewards. It's just a precursor to what you're going to get to experience at maximum level.

Once you reach max level, these events are triggered organically. What this means is, as you fight powerful foes among the enemy factions of Draenor (generally in and around the areas for Apexis Crystal Missions) you'll draw their attention and an enemy force will eventually prepare to attack your Garrison. When that happens, the commander outside your Town Hall will have a quest for you, allowing you to trigger the invasion.

The Nuts and Bolts:

  • Your effectiveness in defending your Garrison is measured by how many enemies you're able to defeat and how many of your guards and buildings survive the assault. (Don't worry, there's no permanent damage- they will rebuild it!)
  • You can bring up to 2 friends into your Garrison to assist in the defense. (It's like a party, but with heavily armored invaders.)
  • Based on your final score you and your allies present will earn a Bronze, Silver, and/or Gold award for your efforts – each award may only be earned once per week.


So fear not - if you upgraded your Garrison to Tier 3, you'll still get your Garrison Invasions.

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

Garrison Campaign quests unlocked


Blizzard has recently unlocked Garrison Campaign quests, so if you're level 100 you should be on the lookout for a new quest somewhere in your garrison. What are Garrison Campaigns? They're weekly quest chains that give you some cool rewards. There will also be a bonus objective you can complete while you're doing the quest for 800 Apexis Crystals (in addition to 800 from the regular daily).

What quest you get appears to be entirely random. For example, this week I had Garrison Campaign: The Ring of Blood and my warrior friend, Mr. Rossi had Garrison Campaign: Seismic Matters. My reward for completing the Ring of Blood campaign quest was a new title, "Blood Champion." The final reward from the latter quest is a mole machine outside your garrison that will transport you instantly to your outpost in Gorgrond. Other quest rewards include things like Pile of Blackfuse Shredder Scrap or Sargerei Disguise. There's also an achievement tied into completing all of them, which looks like it will take 3 months assuming you complete one of them every week.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Highmaul raid schedule revealed

We've all been assiduously leveling through Warlords and now we get to find out what it was all for - starting this December 2nd, Highmaul unlocks, the first Warlords of Draenor raid zone. Blizzard has put a spotlight up on the zone, talking about specific boss fights and when the various wings of the raid unlock. As expected, mythic opens the week after normal/heroic, and LFR unfolds in wings, with wing 1 opening the same week as mythic, then wings 2 and 3 over the following weeks.

I'm interested in the decision to have Kargath Bladefist, an iconic character who even got his own Lords of War short, as the very first raid boss of the expansion. I'm also interested that there are three optional bosses this time out, with the Butcher, Tectus and Brackenspore all listed as optional. It reminds me a little of how you could go from Flame Leviathan straight to XT once your raid had geared up enough, and I'm all for it.

Head on over to the official site to get started on the preview and thinking about raid strategies. December 2 isn't far off.

Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Nobundo

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

One of the fantastic things about Warlords of Draenor is getting to see the way history provides context for a life. By seeing how people have changed, and how they could have been we get a sense of how they are, as we know them - and for me one of the most fantastic changes to contemplate and understand is that of Vindicator Nobundo, a stalwart draenei paladin, who in a different life became Farseer Nobundo, first draenei shaman. Nobundo's story is one of overcoming horrific loss, enduring not just the destruction of his way of life but a corrosion of the body that threatened his very soul, and his ability to overcome and become someone who could inspire his people to a new path displays his strength of spirit.

The Vindicator Nobundo we meet on Draenor - the one who helps fight the Burning Legion forces in Talador, who comes to Nagrand to help calm the elements - has not endured the same trials as Farseer Nobundo. He has not come out the other side of seeing his people nearly destroyed, his body warped by fel energies, his connection to the Holy Light severed. And yet, he is Nobundo - he embodies everything the Farseer was, everything he lost to become who he is today.

So who is Farseer Nobundo? And who is Vindicator Nobundo?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Dungeon difficulty, Dungeon Queues, Boost a warrior.

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.

I'm one of those people who liked Mists of Pandaria. I thought and still think that it was a solid, well designed, well developed expac with a lot of solid new lore, well designed content, and that its major flaws were a lack of dungeons as the expansion continued, some PvP issues, and that deadly year plus with no new content at the end. So while I'm heartened to see Warlords having a positive effect and people excited for it, I'm not down on the 'stupid pandas' trip a lot of people seem to be on. If you didn't like Pandaria, that's your call, but it doesn't make those of us who did less intelligent than you. It's just a matter of taste.

That said, I'm in a paraoxysm of joy over the draenei lore in this expansion. I haven't leveled Horde yet - my tauren's getting impatient, but I have so much to do on my main it doesn't feel like the right time yet. Draenor is an incredibly well designed and executed expansion so far. It's a joy to play through.

Bugboy asks:
Q4tQ: I haven't gotten into the new dungeons yet, but recall that, difficulty-wise, they're supposed to be somewhere between Cata and MoP. Is that about where they are?

I'm of the opinion (based both on my own experiences and those of my friends) that some dungeons are harder than others. Slag Mines has issues if you're melee, as an example. I'd definitely argue that they veer towards the Cataclysm side of things. Skyreach and Auchindoun didn't seem too bad.

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Around Azeroth: And the seas shall run red with blood or lava or ketchup or something

Submitter Yseora of Fights Like a Girl on Blackwater Raiders (US-A) writes, "I was running Dragon Soul a few weeks ago and at the end of the raid when Deathwing had been dealt with for the thousandth time, I couldn't help but notice how big and mysterious the whole area was and how little of it you could actually explore. Taking a swig out of my Filled Festive Mug, I ran and jumped off the edge, hoping to get to another rock. Obviously, I wasn't able to make it that far, but I was able to get to the middle of The Maelstrom. Having a rare view of the surrounding area and of Thrall/The Dragon Aspects, it was interesting to see Deathwing's view and how small even the most powerful beings in Azeroth really are."

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