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Warlords of Draenor Beta: Patch notes for August 1st

Once again we're looking at patch notes for the Warlords of Draenor Beta. And there are changes to be had, for classes such as Death Knights and Warriors, as well as in general. Some highlights:
  • Death knights lose the Rune of Cinderglacier
  • Frost death knights have been revamped, so that dual wield frost DK's specialize in more frost damage while two handed frost DK's lean more on physical damage. Various abilities have been buffed or changed to make this the case, including Obliterate.
  • Tremor Totem still can't be used while feared, charmed or slept, but its duration is now increased to 10 seconds.
  • Arms warriors now generate rage from auto attack damage taken, and many warrior abilities have had their stance restrictions removed.
There's more, of course - for a complete run-through of these patch notes, head over to the official site.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Spend your gold to get the Alliance Chopper in Warlords

Alliance chopper
In a move that will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, the losing bike design from Azeroth Choppers will in fact be added to the game. Currently, the winning Horde-themed bike will be given, for free, to any account that logs into the game before September 30th. The Alliance bike, however, will be added to the game sometime after the launch of Warlords of Draenor, and be available for in-game purchase.

Blizzard is being coy on the subject of cost, but their article emphasizes that it will cost "a pretty hefty sum of gold," so if you want it, best start saving now.

Filed under: News items

WoW Archivist: One night of payback in 2006

Theramore
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

An interesting aspect of the ongoing Ashran faction hub debate is the fear people express that their hubs will be raided by enemy players, since the new hubs are adjacent to a PvP zone. Blizzard pointed out that the hubs will be better defended by NPCs than the Shrines are now -- and the Shrines currently see few serious attacks on live realms, despite their close proximity.

On most realms today, little large-scale world PvP occurs, and even fewer faction raids. Faction raids were once a huge part of the game, even on PvE realms. You couldn't kill opposing players on PvE realms if they didn't want to be killed, but you could deny them their questgivers, flightmasters, and other crucial NPCs. And we did that, on both sides, throughout classic WoW.

Easy targets like the Crossroads, Astranaar, Grom'gol, and Refuge Pointe were raided almost daily. If your faction was heavily outnumbered, like mine was on Khadgar-US back then, it could be infuriating. We had our small victories at times, as I covered in my first Archivist column. But many days, all we could do was stand by and watch as the Alliance occupied our towns for hours at a time and took away our ability to level effectively.

On our first anniversary in 2006, my guild set out for some payback. Today I'd like to share that tale of classic world PvP, from the era when faction raids were serious business.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

The Queue: Your guess is as good as mine

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.

Never let it be said that I don't play along with you guys.

CatrionaShadowleaf asks:
I didn't want to bitch about it in the Ashbringer KYL (because the TRUE Ashbringer is a stand-up guy) but dammit do the wives/mothers ALWAYS have to be stuffed into refrigerators? Can't characters just have mothers?

Off of the top of my head the only mothers we really get any time with are Garona and Aegwynn, and of those two, one is currently dead. Lianne Menethil died off panel somewhere, Tiffin Wrynn died when a rock hit her in the head, I don't even know who Varian's mom was, much less Jaina Proudmoore's... there are other examples (Draka, Thrall's mom, also dead) but in general, I think it's a fair cop that WoW is hard on moms. Frankly, what I want is to find out that Anduin Lothar met a woman, fell in love, had a kid, and that woman is still alive, as is her daughter, who is going to show up and just kick all kinds of behind and become war leader of the entire Alliance because she's a chip off the old block. Because seriously, enough is enough with the mom killing. People's moms need to stop dying in WoW, it's getting weird.

I guess Aggra's still around. Here's hoping she doesn't go to see any Zorro movies.

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Filed under: The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Around Azeroth, Beta Editon: That's why it's called a beta

"It might look as though Luinn of Lex Talionis on Wyrmrest Accord (US-H) won a fabulous prize at the Darkmoon Faire, but that's not the case," writes Luinn's beta testing clone. "While taming a cute, TINY, baby riverbeast in Talador, it unexpectedly inflated to epic proportions. It's not just a pet, it's a bouncy castle! Luinn just worries how he is going to feed little Cletus without going bankrupt."

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: Does WoW eat your time for other games?

I was talking on twitter (I talk a lot on twitter, it's terrifying, especially since I seem to have almost no filter there) when a conversation came up that I'm not going to link to because I don't know if the person who started it wants me to. But I made a point in that conversation that I think can go here - when I'm playing WoW a lot, I tend to play other video games more as well. For instance, when I was progression raiding, I also played a ton of console games. Now that I'm not progression raiding (or raiding at all, really) I actually enjoy not playing any video games whatsoever - I do a lot more reading, some more writing, in general I feel like I'm just not in a place where I want to game as much.

As soon as Dragon Age Inquisition comes out this is going to change, of course. But the consensus from others seems to be the opposite to me - they seem to play less of other games when in the throes of WoW, and when they back off from WoW, they play more of other games.

So I decided, why not get some more thoughts on this? So I put the question to you - do you play more or less of other video games when you're playing WoW?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard seeks targeted feedback on beta quest bottlenecks

Questing bottlenecks plague the release of every World of Warcraft expansion -- if you were an Alliance player trying to play the night of Mists of Pandaria's release, you probably have nightmares about a certain gyrocopter. This time around, the developers are specifically seeking feedback about such bottlenecks. In the words of QA representative Zorbrix:

Targeted Feedback Request: Quest Bottlenecks
Bottlenecks are basically the term we use to describe situations that stop players from questing at their normal pace. Players tend to progress through zones and quests at different rates, but if a quest target (object, drop rate, or mob spawning rate) is too rare, it can really slow players down. The fastest players will run into this first, and they might get through without too much of a reduction in their speed, but just like a traffic jam on a highway more and more people will pileup behind them.


Zorbrix has created individual threads for each Warlords zone for beta testers to submit specific feedback. Beta testers, be diligent in reporting potential bottlenecks -- for those of us interested in doing meaningful testing, catching bottlenecks before they go live will undoubtedly have the largest positive impact on gameplay during the expansion's launch.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

The battle for Warsong Gulch continues in Wowcraft

CarBot's latest Wowcraft episode continues to focus on our Horde and Alliance friends as they battle for the flags of Warsong Gulch. This episode pokes fun at lots of the typical mechanics and behavior you'll see in a battleground--the spring boots, the rez timer, and of course those infuriating, blinking mages. The game's still afoot, however, and despite the ominious (for the Alliance, anyway) ending to this short, nobody's yet won. We'll see how things continue in part four!

Filed under: Humor, Arts and Crafts

Know Your Lore: The Ashbringer, Alexandros Mograine

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.

Unlike other KYL's we've written here, this one's actually about two things - a person, and a weapon. The weapon is one of the most powerful ever forged, crafted by the hand of a dwarven king mourning a brother he believed slain, made with a chunk of crystal from another world. The man was a tireless crusader for his people, who stood against the forces of the Scourge - and when he did, whole armies of the undead were as ash.

We speak of both, for both were the Ashbringer. But to speak of the blade, first we have to speak of the man - for it was by the actions of Alexandros Mograine that the blade came into existence.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: I'm on a boat


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.

I though I'd share what I had to do with my life yesterday. I was on a boat, on a lake, and was drinking on aforementioned boat.

I lead a very difficult life. Please, pray for me when you have a moment to spare.

NickJay asked:

I asked earlier what the chances are of Blood Elves models being the only race to not be included at launch, and since the devs have now answered "100%", my new question is: when would be a realistic time to expect them by? Before, with or after 6.1?

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Filed under: The Queue