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Latest Warlords beta build opens new zones, increases level cap

The beta forums are abuzz with discussion of an upcoming beta build -- the servers are down for maintenance this afternoon. Two new zones, Nagrand and Spires of Arak, will be open for testing, and the level cap is increasing to 100. The leveling portion of the beta is moving along at a steady clip now. Though there are still many major bugs with fixes in progress, nearly every leveling zone will now be open for testing.

In addition, the new beta build will be renaming beta realms for clarity. They will lose their unique names, and instead be given names that are simple descriptors.
  • Lost Isles (PvE) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 01
  • Gilneas (PvP) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 02
  • Mekkatorque (PvP) is being renamed to Level 100 PvP
While these clear descriptions are far more useful than their old names, I'll miss having the ability to personify Lost Isles. Cursing its name aloud each time it crashed was cathartic. Screaming Beta Leveling Realm 01 to the heavens doesn't quite have the same effect.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Garrisons to allow for weapon enchant transmog


Starting in Warlords of Draenor, you'll be able to change your weapon enchantments or hide them entirely via the Enchanter Building in your Garrison. This is really nothing but great news for those of us obsessed with transmog. Personally, every weapon I own will now get the level 60 Fiery Weapon Enchant. End of story, end of game. I just beat the World of Warcraft, thank you, Jonathan LeCraft.


There's no indication on how much this will cost, and LeCraft said a "maybe" when asked if Death Knight runes will be included in this feature.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

New female tauren model

Female Tauren
The latest artcraft post has been released on the WoW official website, and it previews nothing less than the new female tauren model. This model update in particular has been highly anticipated, because the old female tauren models are...well, they're not all that expressive, are they? Fortunately, their blank bovine stares are all set to be a thing of the past. The new models take full advantage of newer texture-rendering capabilities, featuring gorgeous detail in the fur, a full range of facial expressions, and far more natural-looking hair. In addition, their hands have also been scaled-down, as Senior Art Director Chris Robinson notes that female tauren hands were particularly huge, even by WoW standards.

Head on over to the official site for the full preview, it's well worth your time.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Voices, Curse of Naxxramas, and more

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

If you didn't see our pre-Queue dance party, you missed out. Dubs were stepped.

Jalamenos asked:

Has there been any word from Blizzard about putting npc voices in a separate volume slider than the effects volume? As it is right now I can't hear most of what the bosses are saying without being deafened by all the sounds of us killing it. Feels like this is something they should have added a while ago especially since more and more of the game is getting voice cast.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Around Azeroth: Metamorphosis is dead, long live Metamorphosis

"Okay, demon hunting didn't really work for tanking after all," writes submitter Demonmoose of The Outcast on The Maelstrom (EU-A). "It took me a few weeks to get a rez. Never use trash souls for self-preservation. Despite doing everything to find a purpose for it other then leveling, I failed. and now it's dead. I guess Illidan was right after all: We were not prepared."

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 do a Warcraft cartoon

Why yes, that is Clancy "The Kurgan" Brown as Thrall. The trailer is from the never completed Warcraft Adventures game, and it's always gotten me thinking that the Warcraft setting would have made an excellent cartoon. You could see it working in several styles - a Bruce Timm or Greg Weisman style ensemble show ala Justice League or Young Justice, an homage to Filmation style shows like He-Man or Tarzan (I'm probably the only person alive who really liked the Filmation Tarzan) - I just think, with a Warcraft movie coming out that a cartoon could work.

And man, get Clancy Brown to just do everyone. Especially Jaina. No, not especially Jaina, I actually think Laura Bailey does an excellent Jaina. But I would laugh hysterically at Clancy Brown's version.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warcraft movie logo, props revealed

It's that time of year again - the San Diego Comic Con is in full swing, and with it, news about the upcoming Warcraft movie directed by Duncan Jones. While we still have to wait for Legendary's panel on Saturday for any really juicy details, we do now have the logo for the movie (seen above) and pictures of the Doomhammer and a Stormwind-themed sword and shield set.

I admit, I'm not much for movies adapting game properties, but that's one heck of a Doomhammer, and the Stormwind sword/shield set - I'd like those in game. Considering Travis Fimmel's in this thing and we know Ben Foster is playing Medivh in it, I'm hopeful we'll get to see Anduin Lothar up in this.

Thanks to Craig Everson for the tip

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Lore

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.11, Shadow of the Necropolis

This article was originally posted September 13, 2011. With the release of Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas, we thought it would be fun to look back on the initial release of Naxxramas in World of Warcraft. The original publication of this article also included the patch 1.11 patch notes, which we've removed here. If you're interested in seeing them, time warp back to the original.

Patch 1.11 included the original 40-man version of Naxxramas, which was the final raid zone of classic World of Warcraft. The game had seen no expansions yet. While we all knew it was coming, the idea was still foreign and nebulous to players who had limited prior experience with MMOs. "Green is the new purple" was something nobody grasped yet. Naxxramas was seen as the true pinnacle of raiding in classic WoW ... and in some ways, it's still seen that way by WoW's raiding veterans.

The trailer for Shadow of the Necropolis is probably the first patch trailer I remember in vivid detail, as it's one of the first patch trailers in which Blizzard tried to tell a story. Previous patch trailers showed off new bosses and new environments completely without commentary, merely showing off pretty pictures set to new music from the patch's soundtrack. Shadow of the Necropolis slowed things down a bit, showing you some of who Kel'Thuzad was in life and how he came to be lich lord of Naxxramas. Patch trailers have continued to build on what patch 1.11 started.

Let's take a look at what else this patch held, shall we?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Iron Skyreaver 40% off this week

The Iron Skyreaver mount, first released back in January, is 40% off this week. If you're willing to spend $15.00 USD, you can get a taste of Iron Horde aesthetics in advance of Warlords of Draenor. Go ahead -- we won't judge you.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: Hearthstone classes, maintenance, cinematics, and weapon names


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.

Good afternoon, Queuers!

Sorry this Queue is late, some stuff came up that we had to deal with today. But fear not, we've got a Queue full of goodness for you today.

Dustin asked:

How likely is it that Blizzard will release a Death Knight class for Hearthstone? Curse of Naxxramas is the PERFECT place to include it and I feel it is sorely missed from the line up. Also, who do you think would make the best hero to represent the class? I'm leaning fairly heavily towards Darion Mograine, but Thassarian would be neat as well. The Lich King, while an amazing choice, seems like he is too high ranking of a lore character to be used.

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Filed under: The Queue