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Blizzard announces locally hosted Australian realms

Blizzard Entertainment held a Warlords of Draenor pre-launch celebration in Sydney, Australia last night. To much rejoicing among the Aussies, Blizzard announced Australia will soon have locally-hosted servers. Until now, Oceanic realms were hosted in the US, resulting in consistently subpar latency. Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has released an FAQ for the transition for those unsure of its ramifications. A few highlights:
  • Oceanic players on North American realms will, for a limited time, have optional character and guild realm transfers available free of charge
  • Players on the new Oceanic realms will still be able to play with friends on North American realms
  • The new realms will ideally be live before the release of Warlords of Draenor
  • Oceanic players on North American realms may remain there if they so choose
Let's hear it, Aussies: are you excited?

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Nerfing legendary, reagent tab, mounts, and Meechum


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'm a little late on the Queue today, so let's jump into it head first.

Jpec asked:

So why are they nerfing legendaries again? Isn't a legendary weapon supposed to be sort of, I dunno, legendary? Meaning you want to hold onto and use it forever, if not for a really long time? In Diablo, I was holding onto legendaries 10-15 levels after I got them, because the stats were that good. Since the squish, using a legendary has become somewhat viable again - at least at 90. So why the nerfs? It's not like they're suddenly BiS, and they're still a pain in the tuchus to get, so why not let them be used? When will Blizzard let us have our cake and eat it, too?

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Around Azeroth: But I heard they were giving out full-size Snickers bars!

Submitter Diethelm of Tichondius had heard a rumor from his guildmates that Theramore was the place to be this Hallow's End. Possessed of a somewhat short memory for lore-related occurrences, Diethelm headed to Dustwallow Marsh to find only a ghost town ... that had still somehow been decorated in pumpkins, cauldrons, apple-bobbing tubs and a skeleton that is either decoration or a former inhabitant. Shouldn't they be rebuilding the city, rather than emphasizing holiday decor?

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: Is RNG good?

I spent several years trying to get the Brewfest Kodo, and I never did until this year. One of my friends has been running Siege of Orgrimmar nonstop since it debuted over a year ago and he still doesn't have his Dark Shaman transmog set. I'm sure we all similar stories of RNG, whether it be Warglaives, parts of the Bindings of the Windseeker, or a mount off of a specific boss. It comes down to whether or not you can get it to drop, and sometimes, you just plain can't. Similarly, there's BiS pieces that you may actually need to perform adequately, or tier pieces, or that one weapon to get you out of the last raid's gear. We've all been at the mercy of RNG? But is it a necessary evil, or perhaps even outright good for the game to put us through these moments?

I've heard the argument about how the feeling of relief when it finally does drop helps keep us playing. I don't know how valid I think it is, but it's worth keeping in mind. Do you think it's right? Do we need that crushing stick of not getting that thing we want to keep us reaching after the carrot of finally getting it? I know one thing - now that I have the Brewfest Kodo, I never want to see Coren Direbrew again.


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard puts some character services on sale


Blizzard has discounted faction changes and character transfers by 25% for the next week. This means that you'll be able to get the services for the following prices:
  • Character Transfer -- $18.75
  • Faction Change -- $22.50
This is a great opportunity to transfer characters and get a new faction started before Warlords releases on November 13th. Interestingly, this makes the faction change cheaper than the race change, which is still going for $25. I gather moving from a human to an orc is easier than moving from a human to a night elf, at least for the next week.

A discount of similar stature is running on the EU servers. The sale ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Hearthstone on Android possible "before the end of the year"

Those of you waiting for an Android version of Hearthstone, your wait shouldn't be too much longer. The Hearthstone community team provided an update on the game's mobile development today, stating their aim is to release the Android version before the end of the year. Phone versions of the game, both iPhone and Android flavors, are further off, potentially releasing in early 2015. Hearthstone's desktop and tablet UI don't translate well to the phone, what with the significantly smaller screen size, and will be customized for the phone experience.

It's somewhat surprising that this information was shared via a blog post with BlizzCon right around the corner. Then again, this isn't the biggest news in the world -- we've all known Android and phone versions of the game are on the way, we simply didn't know when. There may be bigger and better things in store for BlizzCon, such as the possible expansion the developers have mentioned in recent months. Or there may be nothing. We'll know in a few weeks.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Blizzard's Gorgrond preview

Blizzard has posted their Gorgrond creature preview over on the official WoW blog. Gorgrond is, in part, where Blade's Edge Mountains stands in the Outland version of Draenor. The zone itself is meant for level 92 - 94 players and is home to the Blackrock clan of Orcs.

Highlighted in this preview of particular note is the tree creatures called Botani. Personally every time I look at these I just think of our favorite vomiting tree, Bashiok, and wonder why Blizzard didn't just name an entire series of monsters after him.

I should clarify I'm not saying he's a monster -- he's actually a pretty cool guy.

Check out Blizzard's full preview right over yonder.

Filed under: News items

The WoW Insider Show Episode 365

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!

Get the podcast:

[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
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[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:


Filed under: Podcasts, WoW Insider Show

Patch 6.0.2 hotfixes for October 21


Blizzard continues to roll out hotfixes for patch 6.0.2 dealing with class issues and creature spells that didn't make the transition to the post-item squish world well enough. Nothing terribly special this time, but certainly some nice bugs taken care of that Druids will appreciate.

The full list is as follows:
Blizzard Entertainment
Classes

Druid
  • Dash should now correctly remove root effects when used.
  • Stampeding Roar should now correctly remove root effects when used.
  • Rake should no longer incorrectly stun the target if the attack misses while the Druid is stealthed.
  • Resolved an issue where Boosted Characters may sometimes be unable to learn Faerie Swarm.
Raids

Siege of Orgrimmar
  • The Fallen Protectors: Sun Tenderheart's Calamity ability should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Throne of Thunder
  • Resolved an issue where the Feat of Strength achievement "I Thought He Was Supposed to Be Hard?" was being incorrectly awarded to characters that have died during the fight.
Firelands
  • Beth'tilac: Smoldering Devastation should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Throne of the Four Winds
  • Conclave of Wind: Rohash's Deafening Wind ability should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Icecrown Citadel
  • The Lich King: Necrotic Plague should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
The Eye of Eternity
  • Malygos (Phase 3): Damage dealt while riding a Red Drake now scales with the player's item level.
Sunwell Plateau
  • Grand Warlock Alythess: Flame Touched should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Scenarios
  • Blood in the Snow: Freezing Circle should no longer deal an excessive amount of damage.
Battlegrounds and Arenas
  • Characters that are in-transit on a flight path should now be able to accept a Battleground or Arena queue.



Filed under: News items

The Queue: Swimming kitties

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.

Today we address the real issues. Issues like kitties on broomsticks.

aldristavan asked:

I'm very upset. My feline familiar isn't riding on a broom. Kitty's just floating in air! >:( Is this a bug?

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue