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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.

Maintenance extended until 1 p.m. PST [UPDATE: 3 p.m.]

The launch of a new expansion is fraught with extended maintenance -- Warlords of Draenor being no exception. Today's maintenance, which was already a rather large window, has been extended until 1 p.m. PST.

We'll keep you posted on any developments.

Update: Blizzard's Customer Service team now states realms will be down for an additional two hours. The new ETA is 3 p.m. PST.

Filed under: News items

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

The WoW Insider Weekly Recap is back again this week to discuss all of the hottest news of the past week. This week's topics include: If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Filed under: News items

Hearthstone December ranked play card back

Hearthstone's December ranked play season has begun, and like every season, brings with it a new card back. In celebration of the impending Goblins vs Gnomes, this month's card back is gnome themed -- actually somewhat disappointing for those who wanted a Winter Veil card. As always, you need only reach rank 20 to earn this card back. A simple task, given you can't lose rank until you've surpassed 20.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Last Week on Massively: A new take on playing internet spaceships

Elite
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.

Time to brush up on your Greek! Elite: Dangerous' gamma phase launched last week, marking the last test phase before launch on December 16th. Backers can jump in and play now, but for those who are late to the buying party, there's a solo mode to check out in the meantime. Massively's Mike Foster, who toured the game in September, returned this weekend for hands-on time with and a stream of the final build.

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

Read more →

Filed under: MMO Roundup

The Queue: Khadgar is not your minion

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.

Another Monday shortday!

CaptainCakewalk asked:

What is that little change in Warlords that you really like / love? My vote would go to the random upgrading of gear, it's given me pieces of gear which are often Epic quality when I really needed them, it's amazing!

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

Hearthstone's November Ranked Play season ending soon

If you were hoping to earn the goblin-themed card back above, only two days remain to do it. As the reward for November's ranked play season, you must earn ranked 20 or better before the end of the month. As we've said previously, you can't lose stars (or ranking) until you've surpassed rank 20. Until then, you have nowhere to go but up.

Given the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion launches next month, we're curious to see whether December's card back will follow the tinker theme or if we'll see a Winter Veil aesthetic.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

PSA: Beware the Hearthstone Strategy Guide and Supreme Manual of Dance

Though Blizzard issued its own warning previously, but as we're still seeing players make irreversible mistakes they regret, we'd like to mention it again: be careful when using the Hearthstone Strategy Guide or Supreme Manual of Dance on your garrison followers. The Strategy Guide's tooltip reads Use: Teaches a follower the Hearthstone Pro trait. What it doesn't tell you is the Hearthstone Pro trait will replace one of your follower's current traits and you cannot choose what is replaced. Numerous players have used the item under the (reasonable) assumption that it will be added on to the current list of traits, losing something essential in the process. If you accidentally wipe out the Blacksmithing trait from a follower you intended for your forge, you might not be able to get another follower with that trait unless you build a level 2 inn and recruit one from the headhunter.

The Hearthstone Pro trait increases experience earned on follower missions by 35%, so it can be useful for leveling new followers, but be cautious where you use it. Similarly, the Dancer trait from the Supreme Manual of Dance is also useful, granting a follower the capacity to counter Danger Zones on missions. Note that Dancer is a trait and not an ability, meaning the follower who uses it will be able to counter 3 abilities rather than the typical maximum of 2. The Supreme Manual of Dance is an excellent thing to use on a follower dedicated to running missions and does not already have the ability to counter Danger Zones, but use it with care.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Deathrattle in Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes

The Deathrattle mechanic was a major focus of Hearthstone's Naxxramas adventure pack. While it isn't the central theme of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard's latest look at the upcoming expansion makes it clear there may yet be strong synergy with Deathrattle cards. The expansion preview highlights three cards in particular:
  • Feign Death Trigger all Deathrattles on your minions.
  • Lil' Exorcist Taunt. Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each enemy Deathrattle minion.
  • Scarlet Purifier Battlecry: Deal 2 damage to all minions with Deathrattle.
Feign Death (a Hunter card, naturally) has the potential to be extremely powerful -- not only with Naxxramas cards, but also with the Hunter's own Savannah Highmane, which is already a powerhouse unto itself. Savannah Highmane on the field with Baron Rivendare followed by Feign Death would result in a full board of minions. Lil' Exorcist and Scarlet Purifier seem more of a reaction to Naxxramas, a small balance to some of the adventure pack's more powerful cards, though your Scarlet Purifier triggering an opponent's Nerubian Egg might be bad news.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Numerous Inscription hotfixes now live

The latest round of Warlords of Draenor hotfixes is directed at solving a number of issues with Inscription. The following glyphs were unable to be crafted and have now been added to vendors: The glyphs are currently unique and soulbound -- you cannot buy them en masse to list on the auction house. Glyph of Frostbrand Weapon does not currently have an associated item and could not be added to vendors. For now, shaman will learn the spell automatically instead. If you're a shaman and have not automatically learned the spell, relogging should fix it. Glyph of Blackout Kick, a glyph monks have been digging to find, is not currently in the game at all -- monks will need to wait until the next minor patch to acquire it.

In addition, ink traders -- which were briefly nonfunctional -- should now be fixed.

Filed under: Hotfixes

The Queue: Garrisons, garrisons, some other stuff, and garrisons

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.

Garrisons continue to be the hot topic around these parts. With Warlords of Draenor leaving so much unexplained, confusion is rampant.

dshiryu asked:

How do one trigger garrison invasions? We already kill dozens of mobs from an opposing faction daily to get apexis, how many more must suffer to cause retaliation? THOUSANDS?

Read more →

Filed under: The Queue

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