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Alex Ziebart

Milwaukee, WI - http://www.alexziebart.com/

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

Last Week on Massively: Blizzard goes all-in on WoW nostalgia

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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.

World of Warcraft stole the pre-Gamescom show this week by both dropping 800k subscriptions over the past quarter and promising to reveal on August 14th the Warlords of Draenor expansion's intended release date. Taking into account Blizzard's announcement of nostalgia-laced anniversary content, the Massively staffers and readers speculated on just when Draenor's launch might be.

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

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

New still from Warlords cinematic released

Blizzard has just released another still image from the upcoming Warlords of Draenor cinematic. While yesterday's shot was a scenic view of Draenor, this still depicts warlord Grommash Hellscream and his legendary axe Gorehowl. Click the image above to view a hi-res version. The full cinematic will be released this Thursday along with an announcement of the Warlords release date.

Grommash, you're one ugly dude. A beautifully-rendered ugly dude with fabulous hair.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Gaze of the Black Prince returns Thursday

After weeks of Heart of the Valorous, the Gaze of the Black Prince buff will be returning for a two week period. Beginning Thursday, August 14 at 10:00 a.m. PDT and running through Tuesday, August 26 at 9:00 a.m. PDT, Gaze of the Black Prince will increase all reputation gained with Wrathion, the Black Prince, by 100%. The buff will also increase the droprate of all items necessary for the legendary cloak quests. If you're short on Secrets of the Empire, Sigils of Wisdom, Sigils of Power, or Titan Runestones, make sure you get your playtime in.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: O Joanna

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.

It's that time again -- time to remind everyone that Joanna Blueheart exists and is awesome.

Magnus asked:

Am I wrong, or did Joanna Blueheart not make the cut for the Alliance garrison? I think she was the very first character requested when one of the devs asked on Twitter whom we wanted to have in our garrison and she has had something of a cult following of Alliance fans throughout the years. Seems like a missed opportunity by the devs if they had forgotten about her.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

WRUP: Expansion predictions

Another weekend is upon us. Who cares, though? Sure, free time, blah blah blah. What we really care about is the release date announcement this upcoming Thursday. Join us as we tell you what we're doing this weekend (as if you care) and try to predict the release date anew.

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Blizzard to attend PAX Prime 2014

If you're attending PAX Prime this year, you're in luck -- Blizzard will be there once again, rocking booth #352 of the expo hall. PAX Prime runs from August 29 through September 1 in Seattle, WA. Blizzard's offerings this year include:
  • Warlords of Draenor hands-on
  • What's coming next for Hearthstone
  • Three new heroes in Heroes of the Storm
  • Chat with developers and community managers
  • Giveaways and prizes
Attendees, download the PAX guidebook app (for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry) and check out the schedule to make sure you don't miss anything.

Filed under: News items

Get exalted with the Lorewalkers in an hour or less

This article was originally posted October 5, 2012 by Michael Sacco. With Mists of Pandaria winding down, it's a good time to wrap up some of your lingering goals this expansion. If you've yet to hit exalted with the Lorewalkers, we're here to help.

When I first walked into Lorewalker Cho's sanctum at 90, I peered around for Lorewalkers daily quests and saw that they all seemed to involve archaeology in some way. My DK did not have archaeology up to any meaningful skill level. I sighed deeply at the cheap, neat-looking Disc of the Red Flying Cloud and walked away, until I heard from a little bird that getting Lorewalker rep was a lot easier than I thought.

All you really need to do to get exalted with the Lorewalkers is read each of the lore objects located throughout Pandaria; you can see a list of them (like The Seven Burdens of Shaohao) in your Exploration Achievements tab, under Pandaria. When you read all of the objects for each "story," you get an item to bring to Lorewalker Cho, who presents you with a sort of play about the story you collected, and you get a ton of reputation (thousands).

The best part? You can collect them all in an hour or less with 310 flying and a map to help you out.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Heart of the Valorous returns this weekend

Heart of the Valorous, a buff increasing all valor point gains by 100%, will be active beginning Friday, August 8 at 10:00 a.m. PDT through Monday, August 11 at 9:00 a.m. PDT. For those of you keeping count, this is the fifth Valorous weekend so far.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: Opinions

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.

Let's get this party started.

Banjo asked:

What is your honest opinion of WoD?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

World of Warcraft down to 6.8 million subscribers

According to today's Activision Blizzard earnings call, World of Warcraft is down to 6.8 million subscribers. That's a loss of 800,000 subscribers since the previous quarter. Once more, the losses are said to have occurred primarily in the Eastern market.

We think it's safe to say a year without any new content carries the bulk of the blame for these losses. Historically, since WoW's subscriber peak in 2011, content droughts tend to see the largest drop in subscribers. It's also safe to say some of the losses will return with the release of Warlords of Draenor, though it's unlikely that all lost subscribers will be recovered -- and it remains to be seen how long recovered subscriptions will hang around.

Filed under: News items