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Anne Stickney

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Breakfast Topic: Are you participating in Noblegarden this year?

It's that time of the year again -- tomorrow marks the beginning of Noblegarden, that week-long in game event that sends players out to fetch chocolate, fancy clothes, and much more. The event hasn't really had a facelift in years, although it had a few new items added in 2012 -- both black and pink versions of the Spring Circlet, and the Swift Springstrider mount, which requires a whopping 500 Noblegarden Chocolates to purchase. And of course there are the usual lengthy round of achievements to complete. This is all well and good. But it's not why I participate in Noblegarden every year.

It's the Blossoming Branches. I can't help it. They only cost 10 Noblegarden Chocolates, and there is nothing quite as entertaining as turning your stalwart giant beefy tank into a fluffy bunny at some point way down the road in the middle of September. Or staging impromptu bunny invasions on capital cities, a stampede of wiggly nosed little critters laying tiny little colored eggs and happily hopping down a bunny trail of carnage right through the opposing faction. You can attack while you're a bunny. Fan of Knives is a hysterical miniature circle of knife death delivered with doe eyes, whiskers, and fuzzy cotton tail. Have you ever seen a hunter Feign Death while in bunny form? You should.

And that's why I'll participate at least a little in Noblegarden this year, and the next, and the next, for however many years they continue the holiday. I don't really care what else they add, as long as those Blossoming Branches stay put. Are you planning on participating in Noblegarden this year? What's your favorite part of the holiday? Do you save costume items like Blossoming Branches to use at unexpected and possibly inappropriate moments?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WRUP: Breaking Gnome

This week saw the premiere episode of Azeroth Choppers, a new webseries featuring Paul Jr. from American Chopper. Two teams, Alliance and Horde, are being challenged to construct the ultimate chopper for the faction they represent -- and both bikes will be put up to player vote, with the most popular chopper being given a model in World of Warcraft itself. Sure, it might sound kind of silly, but it was also pretty fun -- and in the spirit of fun, we decided to ask our staff not only what they are playing this weekend, but what television spoof they would like to see next?

Alex Ziebart (@AlexZiebart) I'm going to be doing more Heroes of the Storm this weekend. I genuinely expected we'd have the Warlords alpha/beta by this point, so I don't have much to do in WoW for the time being. I want an Azerothian version of Hoarders. They can start with Anne and Rossi's banks and void storage. Puns that combine hoard and Horde need not apply.

Touché, Alex ... touché.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Warlords of Draenor: Itemization changes on the way

According to the latest round of alpha patch notes from patch 6.0, we're in for some major itemization changes in Warlords of Draenor. While we've had bits and pieces of information regarding itemization and stat changes in the upcoming expansion, we didn't really have a lot of clarification or detail on exactly what those changes are going to be. The latest iteration of patch notes has cleared that up considerably, and expanded on what little we knew.

Hit and Expertise are both gone, replaced instead with a universally useful secondary stat. Three new secondary stats have been added -- Bonus Armor, which simply increases armor; Multistrike, which grants attacks and abilities a chance to fire an additional time for 30% effectiveness; and Readiness, which reduces the cooldown of several class abilities with long cooldowns. Multistrike works for both damage and healing abilities, making it useful for all classes and specializations. In addition, the amount of role-specific stats is being reduced. Tanks will use Armor, which replaces both Dodge and Parry, and Spirit will be useful only to healers.

But it's the changes to items themselves that sound absolutely intriguing.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Did you keep your Pandaria toys?

I'm a sucker for cool stuff. Toys immediately fall into that category -- and in Mists of Pandaria, we received an overwhelming amount of them over the course of leveling and beyond. Rares scattered all over Pandaria and the Timeless Isle drop fun, useful, and downright weird items that don't need to be equipped, but take up an inventory slot all the same. Unfortunately, bank space is at a premium as far as I'm concerned -- the introduction of transmogrification back in Cataclysm exacerbated my storage space woes to the point that my bank and void storage are completely crammed full.

However, that didn't really stop me from keeping most of the toys. Sure, the items that drop from rares are expendable -- after all, you can always go back and farm them again. But quest reward items, like my beloved Puntable Marmot, can't really be obtained twice. With the introduction of the Toy Box feature in Warlords, I'll suddenly have a lot more space, and maybe I'll go back and farm the useless toys from Pandaria's rares once I have someplace non-bank related to keep them. Until then, I'll hang onto my favorite things. After all, there's nothing like punting a wee little marmot to vent one's frustrations. Have you kept your toys from Pandaria? Are you looking forward to the Toy Box feature that should, theoretically, free up a lot of bag space? Have you farmed the rares of Pandaria looking for a particularly fun item? Or did you simply toss all your toys in favor of more bank and bag space?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Patch notes for April 17

A new round of updates have been released for the alpha client of Warlords of Draenor. Included in the patch notes are new sections covering changes and adjustments with Itemization, Movement Speed, Raid Utility Balance, Reforging, and Combat Resurrection. There have also been updates to existing sections as well - many class sections have received a lot of updates and adjustments, as expected for such an early build.
  • Haste % and Crit % bonuses have been streamlined -- no more spell/melee/ranged, it's a universal Haste and Crit % bonus for all.
  • Druids, rejoice -- Ravage no longer requires you to be behind the target.
  • Many glyphs have been removed, and a lot of new glyphs have been added, with some glyphs now being exclusive to a specialization.
  • Movement speed enchants now increase Movement Speed by 10% -- up from 8%.
  • Hunters, there has been a comprehensive sweep over pet abilities -- it's a major list!
  • Paladins, there have been some major tweaks to both Holy and Protection specs.
For the full list of updates, check out the official Battle.net site for all the details. New updates are denoted in red for easy reading.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Azeroth Choppers premieres first episode of new webseries

Episode 1 of Azeroth Choppers, the new webseries featuring Paul Jr. of American Chopper is now officially available. As the premiere epiosde in the series, it's a pretty good introduction to what we're going to see -- two unique bikes being built, one Alliance themed, one Horde themed. At some point, players will get to vote on which design they'd like to see officially placed in World of Warcraft. While the initial reaction from myself was a resounding "What," I have to say I'm pretty excited to see where the series is going to go. I like shows that highlight building things, or even restoring old antiques back to their original beauty.

That said, I wasn't expecting much from the premiere episode, and I got pretty much what I expected. First episodes are usually just an introduction to what we're going to see down the line -- and that's exactly what this is, an introduction. However, the episode did manage to surprise me with some shots of frames that had already been built. Honestly, I'm just wanting to see the actual production and construction itself -- which isn't something you can really just jump into point-blank in one short web episode. But hey, at least I'm looking forward to next week, right? Take a look at the full episode above, and hit the official website if you're wondering exactly what we're going to see out of Azeroth Choppers in the future.

Filed under: News items

WoW Moviewatch: The Oscars in Azeroth

Slightly Impressive never ceases to amuse me. This week, he's put together a look at the Oscars, Azeroth-style. Complete with the traditional red carpet interviews regarding fashion and the subsequent nominees and awards, The Oscars in Azeroth is a funny, well put together parody that hits all the right marks. For those that have been following Slightly Impressive's videos for a while, there's even a throwback to an earlier video with a rap battle that refuses to be forgotten. While I enjoyed the video, I have to say I disagreed the final winner of the evening -- the Paragons of the Klaxxi were robbed, I tell you. Robbed.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

Hearthstone officially launches in US app stores

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available to download in the US for iPad. The fast-paced card game was released earlier this month in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, but players looking for it in the US had to wait. The wait is over, and you can get your copy of the game for absolutely free and level up while waiting for Curse of Naxxramas, the new adventure-mode expansion for the game that's set to release this summer. Android and Windows tablet users, never fear -- a version of the game for those platforms should be coming out some time later this year.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Patch 5.4.7 hotfixes for April 14

A new round of hotfixes for patch 5.4.7 have been released and posted on the official blog. Most of the hotfixes from today involve old raid encounters and achievements -- including one fix that should please those just crazy enough to attempt the Insane in the Membrane achievement.

Rygarius
April 14

Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • Siege of Orgrimmar: Blackfuse Bombling should no longer be incorrectly awarded from the Spoils of Pandaria encounter.
  • Ice Crown Citadel: Resolved an issue that could prevent players from being able to loot The Lich King if NPCs dealt fatal damage to him.
  • The Eye: Additional safeguards have been added to the Kael'thas Sunstrider encounter that could cause him to sometimes not grant loot if he's defeated too quickly.
Achievements
  • Insane in the Membrane: Resolved an issue where Exalted status with the various Steamwheedle Cartel factions, as well as Honored status with the Bloodsail Buccaneers faction, were not properly being credited if those reputations subsequently decreased. Players should now be able to earn this achievement if they have ever brought those five reputations to the required levels.

Filed under: Hotfixes, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Moviewatch: World of Workcraft

I love it when classics stand the test of time. World of Workcraft by lagspikefilms was thrown out for the world to devour all the way back in September of 2008, just before Wrath of the Lich King's launch. And even though it's almost five years old at this point, it scarcely matters -- it's still funny, and incredibly well done. The nerf jokes and office gags are still just as solid as they were back then. I suppose the only thing that sort of dates the film is that these days, the group would probably just queue in the Dungeon Finder to fill out their group -- but hey, they might have run into that unfortunate fifth player in there, too.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: WoW Moviewatch

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