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Alex Ziebart

Milwaukee, WI -

When not writing for or his personal projects, Alex is most often found playing WoW Alliance-side on the Cenarion Circle server.

Hotfixes for January 21

A week has passed since the last round of hotfixes, but a new batch has been released tonight. Tonight's round includes bug fixes, class balance changes, and more. The Garrison Campaign fixes include:
  • A Stolen Heart: Azuka Bladefury should no longer be getting stuck in evade mode for Horde characters.
  • Primal Fury: Completing the quest should now correctly award Thisalee Crow (Alliance) or Choluna (Horde) as a Follower. A fix to award the followers for players that have already completed the quest will be made at a later date.
  • Socrethar's Demise: Resolved an issue that could cause the banner used to challenge Socrethar to not work correctly.
The full list of hotfixes can be found below.

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Filed under: Hotfixes

Last Week on Massively: Hizzy in a tizzy

This post originally appeared on Massively from Editor-in-Chief Brianna Royce. At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO story last week, you've come to the right post.

SOE's H1Z1, affectionately called "hizzy" by gamers generally opposed to syllables, lurched into Steam early access this week. The really-still-in-alpha survival-flavored zombiebox, which boasts hundreds of PvE and PvP mini-servers, provoked outrage from fans who consider the game's airdrop mechanic "pay-to-win," which led SOE to offer refunds and apologies.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top stories.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

The Queue: Blackrock Foundry and more garrison questions

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've been watching Young Justice again and find it funny that Superboy is essentially The Hulk for the bulk of the first season.

What does that have to do with World of Warcraft? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

KingMarvel asked:

Is the Blackrock Foundry raid in the 6.1 patch? I know this raid is coming out in February but is it simply unlocking or are we getting the new patch?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

Patch 6.1: Claws, Pincers, and Tusks nerfed

Deep down in the blackest parts of my heart, that place of darkness and hate, I have reserved a special place for the garrison mission Claws, Pincers, and Tusks. It's an irrational, unnecessary level of hatred for something so mundane, but come on. The mission requires a total of 5 ability counters for a mere ilevel 615 chestpiece! It's more difficult to 100% than missions that provide way better gear! That's just unreasonable.

In patch 6.1, Claws, Pincers, and Tusks requires only 3 ability counters: Group Damage, Massive Strike, and Deadly Minions. Beremus the Overseer has been removed from the mission altogether, leaving Tarina the Ancient as your followers' only foe.

Perhaps, when patch 6.1 goes live, I might be able to let go of this hate and feel joy once more.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: Trade Iron Horde Scraps for follower equipment

If you have a stockpile of Iron Horde Scraps, whether that be due to disinterest in transmogrification or already possessing all of the items you want, you'll be able to put them to good use in patch 6.1. While the War Mill and Dwarven Bunker are already a steady source of follower equipment, patch 6.1 implements a daily quest wherein you can trade 25 Iron Horde Scraps for an additional piece of gear.

When you turn in the scraps, you have a choice between an Armor Enhancement Token or Weapon Enhancement Token -- the same items you can earn through select follower missions. That means there is a random element to the reward, your ultimate outcome being anything from a three ilevel improvement via Braced Armor Enhancement to an automatic ilevel 645 via the far more rare Goredrenched Armor Set.

If your garrison has been running a Salvage Yard and War Mill/Dwarven Bunker since launch, you most likely have a stockpile of follower enhancement items already. If you haven't had those running for months, this daily quest will be a solid catch-up mechanic.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: Dummies will (hopefully) stop murdering you

On live realms, the training dummies found within the garrison often prove to be a problem for DPS players. With the tanking dummy standing right next to the damage dummy, any sort of splash or cleave damage -- a baseline part of many DPS rotations -- hits the tanking dummy which proceeds to kill the player. The issue renders the dummies effectively unusable for many players who might be interested in practicing their rotation.

On the patch 6.1 PTR, the damage and healing dummies have swapped places. The tanking dummy remains on the far left and the damage dummy is now on the far right. Even if you accidentally hit the tanking dummy with a bit of AOE damage, you're standing far enough away that you won't be brutally murdered by an ostensibly inanimate object.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 6.1: Garrison follower mission UI updates

The patch 6.1 PTR introduces a number of updates to the garrison mission table UI, many of which will be well-appreciated. First, the mission table provides more at-a-glance information about mission rewards without need for a mouseover: ilevel of equipment, the exact number of experience points, and so on. If you do hover your mouse over a mission, a new array of information will be displayed: the ability counters required (and whether you have followers who can counter them) and the mission availability -- that is, how long the mission will stay in your list before it expires. If you have a follower who could counter something but is currently unavailable due to being on another mission, the tooltip will even tell you how long until that follower becomes available. If a mission will expire before that follower returns home, you can quickly and easily make the decision to try that mission with less than 100% chance of success.

The tab which displays your list of followers has also been updated. At the top of the menu, the UI now displays the total number of each ability in your active roster. If you have 7 followers who can counter Powerful Spell, for example, that is displayed at-a-glance. As someone who keeps a spreadsheet of his followers, it's a welcome addition. It's likely I'll still keep my spreadsheet, but having the ability to quickly reference that breakdown will make it easier when it comes to recruiting new followers from the inn each week. Using follower upgrade items has also changed: you no longer click on the item, then click on the character's portrait in the list. Instead, you click the item, click the portrait in the list, and then click on their full-size image to use the item. That change seems unusual -- it adds a redundant step to the process -- but the redundancy might be intended to prevent misclicks.

An image of the new follower tab can be found below; it's a big one.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

TradeChat's latest WoW jokes

The WoW Insider Weekly Recap will return next week, but in the meantime, TradeChat brings us another edition of her WoW Jokes series hosted by her cast of fictional characters. You'll groan more often than you laugh -- but a good groan is sometimes just as good. Be warned: the video does contain some language we would consider NSFW.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 6.1: The heirloom tab and how it works

As we've mentioned previously, the heirloom collection UI (or "heirloom tab") is now live on the PTR. The UI resembles the Toy Box and functions in much the same way: if you have an heirloom item on your account, it will be automatically added to your collection. Unlike toys, mounts, and pets, when you acquire a new heirloom, it will be added directly into your collection with no need to "learn" the item. When you want to equip one of your heirlooms, you click on the item in your collection and the game creates a duplicate of that item in your bags. If you want to get rid of it, you simply throw that item away like a piece of old paper. If you wanted to, you could fill your entire inventory with Bloodied Arcanite Reapers. I don't know why you'd want to do that, but with the new heirloom system, you could.

The system for upgrading those heirlooms doesn't seem to be fully implemented in the current PTR build. While we know heirlooms will be able to be upgraded all the way to level 100, the items for doing so are not currently available on the heirloom vendors. The vendors, Krom Stoutarm for the Alliance and Estelle Gendry for the Horde, sell a variety of heirlooms and the level 90 upgrade items: Ancient Heirloom Armor Casing and Ancient Heirloom Scabbard. The Scabbards don't seem to work at all right now and the Armor Casings don't bring an heirloom up to level 90 as described -- it brings them up to level 85.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Last Week on Massively: 2015 is a big year for The Elder Scrolls Online

This post originally appeared on Massively from Editor-in-Chief Brianna Royce. At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO story last week, you've come to the right post.

The Elder Scrolls Online this week announced more changes for its endgame veteran ranks system against a backdrop of fairly credible rumors concerning its console launch date and future business model.

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup