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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.

Uther has too many justice

We recently stumbled across this song by Youtuber haigh152 -- a Hearthstone song made entirely of Uther's voice clips and other game sounds. The comedic approach to Uther's lyricism reminds me of classic Mr. Voletron mixes and that's a very good thing -- they're catchy, easily lovable, and often hilarious, a fine recipe for an earworm. Part of me wishes the song was longer, but with Uther's limited vocabulary, it might lose its charm if it was. I hope to see more of these from haigh152 in the future.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Robin Williams NPC appears in Warlords of Draenor

Robin Williams was a known gamer and his daughter's namesake is no secret -- Zelda Williams is named for none other than Princess Zelda. He was also a World of Warcraft player. Shortly after his death, Blizzard developers Chadd "Celestalon" Nervigg and Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas responded to a player petition to honor the actor and comedian in-game. The latest Warlords of Draenor beta build includes Blizzard's tribute in the form of Robin the Entertainer.

Currently, Wowhead has datamined three versions of Robin the Entertainer including a djinn, a human female, and a human male -- nods to Genie of Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, and possibly Mork. The NPCs have yet to be seen in-game, so the nature of these NPCs is currently unknown; they might be found in three different locations, or it could be a single representation of Robin Williams rotating through some of his most beloved roles. It's been theorized that he'll be a replacement for The Burning Crusade's Perry Gatner, a character that performed standup comedy in Shattrath's World's End Tavern.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: More fun with timelines

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.

Here we go again!

rjjagoda asked:

I continue to question what good blueprints would be to a society that simply does not have the technology, but that's a personal pet peeve. I mean, if I took iPhone schematics back to 1984, would Motorola be able to reproduce the thing? Or even understand some of the stuff they're looking at?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords Collector's Edition Hearthstone card back revealed

Among the oodles of goodies included in the Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition is a new Hearthstone card back. The artwork has been revealed, which can be seen above or over on the @PlayHearthstone Twitter account. The art has an Iron Horde theme, exemplified in random spikes and furnaces. The Warcraft Twitter account confirms that this card back is also included in the Digital Deluxe version of the expansion.

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider, Warlords of Draenor

Last Week on Massively: SOE Live 2014

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 or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

This week, the MMO world has been preoccupied with SOE Live, Gamescom, and Blizzard's Warlords of Draenor shindig. Massively's MJ Guthrie has been reporting from SOE Live in Las Vegas, delivering fresh info on Landmark's and EverQuest Next's combat systems.
SOE Live 2014: Details on EverQuest Next combat, classes, and races
SOE Live 2014: Combat comes to Landmark August 27th
SOE Live 2014: EverQuest will release The Darkened Sea expansion October 28th
SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion includes new playable race
SOE Live 2014: Thursday keynote liveblog announces EQ and EQII expansions, more

Read more →

Filed under: MMO Roundup

Blizzard offering Mists of Pandaria free to lapsed subscribers

An email offer from Blizzard Entertainment is granting long-lapsed accounts Mists of Pandaria free of charge if they resubscribe. The email states:

The Iron Horde is coming and to help prepare you for the invasion, we've given your account, [account name], a FREE digital copy of Mists of Pandaria®. When you reactivate your WoW subscription, you'll be able to battle to level 90 and get ready for the launch of Warlords of Draenor™ on 11.13.14.

The email goes on to encourage preorders of Warlords of Draenor.

It's currently unknown whether all lapsed accounts are receiving this offer or not, but we've seen multiple reports of it over the weekend -- and I've received one myself for a secondary account I haven't played in a few years. Even if you haven't received this email but are considering a comeback, it may be worth checking your account page. Your lapsed account may have already been upgraded for you.

This coincides with a general price reduction for Mists of Pandaria. The expansion is now listed at $9.99 on the Blizzard store.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

The Queue: Timeline confusion

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 attempt to tackle timelines and alternate dimensions. Attempt being the operative word.

Breadsammich asked:

Something's bothering me about the Warlords cinematic. We see a pitlord, presumably Mannoroth, angered over the orcs' refusal to drink the blood. However, if the legion exists outside time and dimensional boundaries, how could that be Mannoroth? A "new" one wouldn't have been created by the new timeline if he's separate from it to begin with, right? Is this just Blizzard waving it off a little for the sake of the cinematic?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition revealed

Blizzard has just announced the contents of the Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition. The collector's edition includes:
  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Get the full version of Warlords of Draenor on DVD-ROM.
  • Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray Two-Disc Set Meet the development team behind the creation of Draenor and its savage warlords. This two-disc set includes over an hour of creators' commentary, insider interviews, and developer roundtables.
  • Collector's Edition Soundtrack Immerse yourself in the sounds of war with the complete Warlords of Draenor orchestral soundtrack on CD.
  • The Art of Warlords of Draenor Witness the visual evolution of the expansion in this beautifully bound tome of exclusive Warlords of Draenor art. Through 160 pages of concept pieces, finished illustrations, and CG images, you'll delve into the art team's vision for a Draenor under siege by the apocalyptic threat of the Iron Horde.
  • Blackhand Mouse Pad Arm yourself with a special-edition mouse pad emblazoned with the deadly warlord Blackhand.
  • World of Warcraft Dread Raven Mount and Dread Hatchling Pet Descend from the skies on the back of a black-winged Dread Raven mount, a mortal progeny of Anzu. Then devour your prey in your next pet battle with the adorably ferocious Dread Hatchling.
  • StarCraft II Portraits Summon the strength of two deadly Iron Horde war chiefs-Grommash Hellscream and Blackhand-as you take on the Dominion with these two StarCraft II portraits.
  • Diablo III Warsong Pennant Don this battle-worn pennant and channel the rage of the Warsong Clan against the demonic forces of Sanctuary.
  • Hearthstone Card Back Your adventures in Draenor will be the talk of the tavern after outfitting your champion's deck with this custom card back forged in the fires of Blackrock.
Though Battle.net does not yet display a price for the Collector's Edition, Amazon lists it at a price point of $89.99.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Cinematic Premiere liveblog

Today's Warlords of Draenor Cinematic Premiere event will begin at 9:30 a.m. PDT. In addition to the reveal of the cinematic, we are expecting the announcement of the Warlords of Draenor release date and the debut of the new Lords of War animated miniseries.

We will be covering the event live. In the meantime, get hyped while you watch that countdown tick away. Liveblog timestamps are in Central time.

Update: The livestream has concluded. You can still find all of our updates, as well as the cinematic and the first episode of Lords of War, in the post below.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor introduces social fish

Fishing has always been a niche activity in World of Warcraft -- the few who fish love it and everyone else finds it loathsome at best. However, over the years, fishing has been given access to some truly unique items and/or adventures: the hunt for Mr. Pinchy, fishing up sea monsters, and totally rad fishing pole models, for example. Now Warlords of Draenor will be introducing social fish -- fish that can be used to buff fellow anglers, and fish that can label a fellow player's general demeanor for all to see. Via Wowhead and El's Anglin, Warlords introduces:
  • "Fragrant" Pheromone Fish Coat a friend with Fish Pheromones, increasing their Fishing by 100 for 5 min.
  • Awesomefish Use on a player to debuff them with "Awesome! Someone thinks you are awesome!"
  • Grieferfish Use on a player to debuff them with "Griefer. Oh dear."
  • Tyfish Use on a player to debuff them with "Thank you! You did a nice thing for someone. :)"
According to El's Anglin, Awesomefish and Tyfish are more common than the Grieferfish and the Fragrant Pheromone Fish. All can be caught in Draenor's open waters except for, it seems, Frostfire Ridge. While the Pheromones only last 5 minutes, the debuff applied by the other fish last a full 24 hours.

Personally, I doubt I'll make much use of the Pheromone Fish, given it can only be used on other players. I'm not a completely asocial gamer, but when I'm fishing, I like my solitude. If someone butts into my territory, I pick up and go as fast as I can. How am I supposed to watch Netflix while I fish if I don't know which bobber is splashing around in the background? I also wonder as to the actual value of the Grieferfish. I suspect genuine griefers will accept the debuff as a badge of honor while innocent players will feel labeled unfairly if they've been hit with it for laughs. I can get behind the Awesomefish and Tyfish, though.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor