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Sunday Morning Funnies: How delightful

Teh Gladiators
Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

This week, in comics: Everything is so orange. Socializing is the worst. One partnership is broken up, and another is formed. Plus: Richard has a diary (and a purse).

Also, Fox Rain has hit 100 pages! Congratulations, Jenn!

Several of our sporadically updating comics did not post new content this week, so we're missing WoW, eh? and Sara & Kleeyo, as well as Kibble & Bit. And, if you missed the announcement last week, From Draenor With Love is on a brief hiatus to prepare for Chapter 4 (which I'm pretty sure has a dragon).

However, The Brotherhood of Iron, Rug's new comic, which will update sporadically as well, has new content up, which includes Keran from Experience Boost. Plus, Gnomeregan Forever has posted an extra featuring a Kibble & Bit crossover! We also have content from the two new comics that joined us last week, The Warchief's Command Board and Gnomophobia, so there's plenty to read. But, if you're finding the list a bit light, why not check out the Clickware storyline on NPC? It isn't WoW-related, but I mean, Chloe encounters the clickbaitiest of ads, and it's worth the read.

Also this week, Teh Gladiators concludes, although this won't be the last time it's featured here. Next week, there should be Hearthstone-related content, and if you're curious, the text below the final comic gives some more details.

Finally, I'd like to correct a minor error I made last week. Contested Territory (not Gnomeregan Forever) switched up its line style subtly, which is getting some great feedback from readers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Breakfast Topic: Did you watch the Warlords cinematics?

One of the bigger pieces of news to come out of last week was the release of several of Warlords of Draenor's key in-game cinematic pieces. Now, normally we kind of expect to see these things at some point during the beta's lifetime -- but usually it's one datamining website or another that manages to dig the cinematics up prior to the expansion's release. This time, in a completely different move, Blizzard released all of the cinematics on the official website, clearly labeled as spoiler content and requiring players to click through a very blatant spoiler warning before actually showing any content at all.

It's a new approach. I'm kind of a fan of this approach, because we all knew that material was going to surface at one point or another anyway -- this way, Blizzard has control of how it is released, and guarantees that it's labeled so as not to take anyone by surprise. You can't get much clearer about spoilers than Blizzard did in their official post, and although some might say they went overboard with the warnings, I think that was perfectly fine, given the nature of the material. And of course I watched them. I watched them all, because I like to write about these kinds of things on a weekly basis and I wanted to see what would happen, to give some context to what I'd already seen in the beta.

But I'm wondering how many of you watched the cinematics, as blatantly placed out and clearly labeled as they were. Did you appreciate all the spoiler warnings? If you're avoiding all spoilers, did the clear labels and official post make it easier to stick with your resolve, or did it just tempt you into really wanting to see? Obviously, since we're talking about the nature of spoilers, rather than the actual spoilers themselves, please keep the comments spoiler-free. Trust me, we'll have more than enough articles where you can talk about the spoiler content to your heart's content.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Guide to Brewfest 2014 achievements

Brewfest is back, as is Coren Direbrew, his cronies, and some of the easiest trinkets you'll ever farm for from the holiday boss. Now, you can get better gear for yourself and approximately 37,000 alts off the Timeless Isle if you've a mind to grind, but killing Coren can get you some quick and easy ilvl 470 trinkets without having to suffer endless "Is Huolon up?" spam in general chat.

That might be worth it. It's up to you.

Anyway, right now there's no indication that Blizzard has changed the holiday in any substantive manner, and although some new items have been found on the PTR and beta, they are not on live servers, which means the run of achievements is pretty much the same. This year, Brewfest runs from Saturday, Sept. 20 to Monday, Oct. 6. As always, check your in-game calendar for your server's exact start and end times, as they'll differ slightly by time zone. The Brewfest meta Brewmaster is required for the year-long What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been, so you'll want to get this done if you're working toward a Violet Proto-Drake.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

WRUP: How many legendary cloaks do you need?

It's the weekend once more, which means it's time to forget about the stresses of the work-week and dive into the delightful escapism of video games... which usually means playing some Warcraft. This week, we're all looking towards the end of Mist of Pandaria's legendary cloak quest chain, so in addition to what we're playing this weekend, we talk about where we are on our legendary goals.

So just what is the team up to this weekend? Read on to find out -- and let us know what you're playing in the comments.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

New Warcraft wallpaper, costumes, art and comic updates

Blizzard has put together another giant pile of updates to many of the fan content galleries on the official site this week. Included with this round of updates is a new wallpaper featuring Chen Stormstout, along with a new fan comic. But the highlight of the gallery updates this time around has to be the costume section, featuring a ton of the costumes and cosplay from Gamescom 2014. The attention to detail with all of that armor continually impresses me, and this round of updates features a ton of trolls!

I think what excited me the most, however, was the fact that we got a couple of new concept art pieces -- and this time, it's Warlords of Draenor art! Don't get me wrong, I love seeing the Mists of Pandaria concept art, but Draenor is so visually unique on the beta servers that I pretty much figured the concept art for the expansion had to be some amazing stuff. While we only got a couple of pieces this time around, I'm hoping we'll see more added as the weeks go on. Check out Blizzard's official post for links to all of the new additions.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

Patch 6.0.2: Ordos cloak requirement removed

One of the unique quirks of the Timeless Isle, introduced in patch 5.4, was the means in which players accessed Ordos, Fire-God of the Yaungol and the world boss located at the highest heights of the Isle. In order to even get to the temple in which Ordos was located, players needed to either fly very carefully on one of the Isle's many flying albatross taxis, or have a legendary cloak that would glide them right on over the broken bridge that led to the Ordon Sanctuary. And even if you took the albatross, fighting Ordos required the legendary cloak -- you could not engage the world boss without it. But according to developer Jeremy Feasel on Twitter, that's about to change in patch 6.0.2.


Later tweets clarified that the cloak wouldn't even be needed to get over the broken bridge -- the Celestials will send everyone flying to the other side, regardless of whether they have the legendary cloak or not. For those that don't really do any raiding, Ordos has quite the loot table of gear. Every item he drops is ilvl 559, and although we won't be able to upgrade gear with Valor when the patch hits, it's still some pretty good gear for getting a head-start on leveling in Warlords. If you don't have a legendary cloak, or don't plan to obtain one, you might just want to focus your attention on Ordos for a few last pre-Warlords upgrades once patch 6.0.2 goes live.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Who needs a title with that picture?

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.

I'm glad I waited until the wee hours of the morning to write today's Queue. If I didn't, I wouldn't have been able to use that picture of Zarhym as today's header, courtesy of Ben Brode's Twitter.

Benjamin Seeberger asked:

with the introduction of Warlords of Draenor and the retirement of the legendary quest in its entirety, are new players going to have any clue who Wrathion is, unless they are rogues? Will his storyline make any sense in Mists when the legendary questline is taken out? Will the Timeless Isle make any sense? How will the departure of the questline impact Pandaria's storyline?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Breakfast Topic: If WoW had romance options

One of the things I liked about the old Baldur's Gate games (especially BGII, my all-time favorite) and their modern-day successors the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series is their romance options. You don't have to play with romance in mind -- in fact, when I play Dragon Age, I absolutely don't romance anyone, it's just how I roll in the DA franchise - but it's a well-designed feature and something I enjoyed, especially as it got more inclusive. It's a good mechanic for letting players see a little of themselves and their personal existence in the larger game world without forcing everyone to see it, since it's easy enough to not pursue.

And now I think it's time for WoW to steal the heck out of that idea. For example, Yrel. Let us all date Yrel. Or Drek'thar, or Liadrin. Make certain awesome NPC's available in our garrisons and let us pursue completely fictional romances with them to help introduce story elements you can't get any other way. We could have special quests just from our significant other, chains that helped flesh out the world we're exploring.

Okay, I admit it, I just want to let rogues date Vanessa Van Cleef. She's had a rough life. Druids could maybe talk Fandral Staghelm or Leyara down?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Most Hearthstone players don't surpass rank 15

If you follow any number of prominent Hearthstone players, your perception of ranked play might be a little skewed. Being above rank 10 -- or even top 5 -- seems perfectly standard. When you play the game yourself, frustration mounts quickly because you can barely make it into the teens. However, Blizzard has recently stated you may be better than you think. According to the stats they've released, 75% of players are between rank 15 and 25. Only 2% of players are in the top 5 ranks, with only 0.5% of the playerbase at the Legend rank.

While Hearthstone had no difficulty hitting 20 million registered players, I often wonder if competitive games based on ranked played have issues with retention. When ranked play is the central game option, the simple nature of the beast means the majority of your players will sit at the lowest rungs of the ladder. The truly dedicated will invest significant time and energy into overcoming that hurdle, but certainly not everyone. The answer isn't to give people free victories, but is there another way to keep them engaged?

If you're interested in the full infographic, it can be found below or on Battle.net.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Warlords of Draenor: Blizzard releases all in-game cinematics

If you've been playing in the beta one of the things you've noticed is that there's a host of in-game cinematics that haven't actually been there yet. If you're wondering what they are, wonder no more - Blizzard just released a whole host of them on the official site. They're all excellent - one of them actually made this old draenei tear up a bit - but don't watch those and then complain that you were spoiled for the next expansion because that's all there is here - nothing but 100% spoilers for what's going to be happening in Warlords of Draenor.

So, if you want to avoid that, don't go to that link and absolutely don't watch any of those videos. But if you do want that, here you go. It's really some amazing work on the part of Terran Gregory and the entire Blizzard in-game cinematics division.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor