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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.

The Queue: Abrogator Stones, garrisons, and player housing

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 took until January, but it's finally cold and snowy in Wisconsin. Now, I'm not a big fan of the freezing cold or anything, but it's Wisconsin. It's about time.

Chadalac2 asked:

Anyone else not getting that many stones for the legendary quest? I have like 39 and a fellow guild mate has 120. What the heck.

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Filed under: The Queue

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

Hotfixes for January 5

After a long holiday break, we have a brand new round of hotfixes for Warlords of Draenor. Tonight's hotfixes are primarily class balance and quality-of-life changes, along with an extension to the 10th Anniversary event. Some highlights:
  • Dwarven Bunker/War Mill: Players can now accrue as many Iron Horde Scraps as they want.
  • Lumber Mill: Players can now accrue as much Timber as they want.
  • Various Nitrogg Thundertower nerfs in Grimrail Depot
  • Various rogue buffs
Those are the ones that interest me most, anyway. It will be nice to spend a night stockpiling Timber rather than needing to venture out every few days to replenish my stack of 250. Nitrogg Thundertower was also leaps and bounds more difficult than anything else found in dungeons if you're in a random group.

The full hotfixes can be found below.

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Filed under: Hotfixes, Warlords of Draenor

Last Week on Massively: The fastest way to lose $1500 in an MMO

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.

This week, a player in EVE Online, most likely someone involved in an RMT deal, managed to kick off the new year right: by getting his unprotected ship and its cargo, $1500 worth of PLEX that didn't need to be transported that way to begin with, blown to smithereens. Is there an MMO Darwin award yet?

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories, though I promise that none will make you facepalm as hard as this one.

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Filed under: MMO Roundup

The Queue: Garrisons forever

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.

At this point, I think it's fair to say the holiday season has concluded. No, you may not extend it to Valentine's Day. Hopefully we'll see some Warcraft news on the horizon soon. Patch 6.1, anyone?

gazaa07 asked:

if you could create a new building to be used for your Garrison (can be anything), what would you build?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue

An ode to old faces

In recent years, I've stated often that Blizzard didn't pull from the established stable of World of Warcraft characters nearly often enough. They focused primarily on characters from the Warcraft RTS games and, beyond that, only on the few new characters they've selected as "faction leaders." I've always felt that players rarely had real attachment to those characters. The faction leaders often played a part in a narrative outside of the player character; they had their own things happen wherein the player often played a small part, if any part at all. Players become more attached to the characters that play a role in gameplay -- memorable faces and personalities that are a part of the leveling process, ranging from questgivers to vendors. Though there are a few notable exceptions, those familiar faces never returned, with each expansion bringing in a whole new cast rather than utilizing the rich pre-existing world.

I have to give credit where it's due: Warlords of Draenor changed that. While yes, it does commit the same sin of reusing RTS characters for the umpteenth time (and in the most egregious way yet), it's also the first expansion that has pulled from the little people of World of Warcraft's history. Familiar faces from all corners of Azeroth make appearances, some in big ways and some in small, and that is what has driven me to invest in the world of Warlords of Draenor, not the return of the orcish warlords. Let's look at some examples, shall we?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Hearthstone's January card back: Marauding Maraad

The tenth season of Hearthstone ranked play has begun. This month's card back features a draenei theme -- or more specifically, a Vindicator Maraad theme. It's a beautiful card back and a nice counterpoint to the Iron Horde-themed card back from purchasing the Warlords of Draenor Collector's Edition.

As always, you need only reach rank 20 to earn this card back. You can't lose rank until you've surpassed 20, making it a relatively simple goal.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Looking back at the WoW Archives

We've reached the end of 2014, and 2014 held a special milestone for World of Warcraft: the 10th anniversary celebration. The game has built a rich history in the last ten years. Not just its in-game lore, but the history of the game itself and the community around it. WoW Insider's WoW Archivist has been reflecting on that history since early 2011 and now seems like a good time to revisit the best of the archives.
  • The Karazhan Crypt One of World of Warcraft's most infamous mysteries among old school players, the Karazhan Crypt is a creepy glimpse of content that was never released.
  • The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj The world event surrounding the opening of the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj was a server-wide effort, an in-game event the likes of which we're not likely to see again.
  • Talisman of Binding Shard, the lost legendary The Talisman of Binding Shard was a legendary item never intended to go live -- but it did. Only one person ever received it.
  • Indalamar the Warrior Numerous items have been named after Indalamar. Most of them use a simple reverse form of the name: Ramaladni. Indalamar was famous in vanilla WoW for his warrior shenanigans, many of which resulted in nerfs to the class. He also shared a guild with that sole recipient of the Talisman of Binding Shard.
  • Memories of Dire Maul The dungeon known as Dire Maul was the first dungeon to be added to the game after the launch of World of Warcraft. Players who look back on classic World of Warcraft thinking epics used to mean something -- recall Dire Maul, where its rare-quality items outclassed most early epics.
  • The legacy of Leeroy Jenkins Leeroy Jenkins made a comeback in Warlords of Draenor as a garrison follower. His origins are as ancient as they were viral.
  • The Corrupted Blood Plague An unanticipated exploit of a boss ability in old Zul'Gurub -- simply leaving the dungeon with a particular debuff -- triggered an in-game epidemic so catastrophic, world governments studied it.
  • The Emerald Dream, Outland, and other Z-Axis secrets In classic World of Warcraft, there were oodles of unfinished lands hidden away throughout the world -- tucked beneath the world's terrain, meant to be inaccessible. Enterprising players found them, and in some cases, entirely by accident as the game glitched when it couldn't determine a player's coordinates.
  • Massacre at the Crossroads Let's wax nostalgic about world PVP and the violent hotbed that was the Barrens.
  • 5 years of daily quests In June of 2012, we were looking back at 5 years of daily quests and the impact they had on the game's landscape. Now, going into 2015, Warlords of Draenor has almost entirely eliminated them. Is that a good thing?
  • Blackrock Depths, WoW's ultimate dungeon Not everyone loved Blackrock Depths, but it may have been the truest dungeon crawl World of Warcraft has ever had. Its vast spaces and myriad of potential paths and activities was beloved by some ... an enormous headache for others.
  • The evolution of Alterac Valley Implemented in classic World of Warcraft, Alterac Valley once ran for hours on end -- maybe even days. Nary a patch or expansion has passed without Alterac Valley balance changes. Seen by many as a shadow of its former self, we all must admit that a battleground that could stalemate for days could be infuriating.
  • Vanilla WoW's most hidden questline It's still sometimes rumored that classic World of Warcraft contained quests that no player ever discovered or completed. Given the game's long history of datamining, that's unlikely. However, some quests were far more hidden than others.
  • A raid exploit compendium part 1 and part 2 As long as players have been raiding, players have been finding ways to exploit them. Some exploits were more blatant than others -- some resulting in guild-wide bans.
  • WoW's craziest television advertisements Let's be real -- it can't get more absurd than night elf mohawks.
  • WoW's most terrifying secrets The Karazhan Crypts aren't the only creepy location in World of Warcraft.
  • WoW's most terrifying monsters The list ranges from murlocs to monstrosities -- mobs that scare us for their gameplay and those that have rather horrific stories.
  • WoW in China, an uncensored history part 1 and part 2 The history of World of Warcraft in China is rich in ways quite different from Europe or the Americas. Differences in culture resulted in alterations to select in-game models, a distribution dispute meant a delayed release schedule for certain expansions, and more.
  • The Martin Fury incident What would you do if you accidentally received an item that could instantly kill anything and everything?
  • The zombie plague event Much like the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj, an in-game event of this scale is unlikely to happen again ... though the zombie plague struck twice.
  • Flight You can fly! You can't fly! You can fly! You can't!
All of this is only a sample of the Archivist and the long history of Warcraft. If you're particularly bored this New Year's Eve, page through Archivists past like we often do -- take in patch notes from patches of old, get nostalgic for those days-long Alterac Valleys, and remember how far we've come.

Filed under: WoW Archivist

39 facts about garrisons in Warlords of Draenor

Garrisons evolved to become a central feature of Warlords of Draenor over the course of the expansion's development. Whether you're Alliance of Horde, garrisons are packed full of little details ranging from the gameplay-essential to the just-for-fun. Join Panser of TradeChat in exploring 39 garrison facts -- and even as garrison-obsessed as I am, there were a few in there that even I didn't know.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: New Year's Eve

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 writing today's edition of The Queue at 5:00 a.m. Central time. It's already 2015 in New Zealand. Timezones are weird.

Beztoko asked:

I have a timeline question it has been said that WOD Gul'dan is on the phone with a very angry kil'jaeden, am I wrong to assume that this is a different kil'jaeden than the one we fought in BC?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Queue