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Anne Stickney

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Blizzard offering 7 days of game time to select accounts

If you haven't upgraded your account to Warlords of Draenor, you may want to check your email. In fact, even if you have upgraded your account, you may want to check your email. Blizzard has quietly released a promotion giving players 7 free days of game time for select accounts, randomly offered to both current and returning players. As with any promotion, scams are an inevitability, so if you do see one of these emails pop up in your inbox, don't click any links in the email itself, just to be on the safe side.

Please note that this is a limited availability offer -- the promotion isn't being offered to all players. Community Manager Bashiok clarified the nature of the promotion on the official forums yesterday.

Bashiok
From time to time we run different promotional offers for a subset of players, but they're generally not something offered to everyone. Which is why this may work on the accounts that were offered the promotion, and not others.

However, players are reporting that they have received the promotion without the accompanying email, so you might just have a present waiting for you on your account. To check, log into your Battle.net account, click on your World of Warcraft license, and head to the Referrals & Rewards tab at the bottom of the page. If you have been offered free game time, a link will allow you to activate the game time and apply it to your account. According to the email, the offer expires on November 5 -- so make sure you redeem your game time now, before the offer disappears.


Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Old Gods Are Everywhere

I don't think it's a secret that I'm a fan of the Old Gods -- I like writing about them, I like coming up with crazy theories about them, and I just like the whole vibe of terrifying beasts of darkness lurking below the earth. Needless to say, when I ran across this machinima from earlier this year by Mooclucking, I was absolutely delighted. Old Gods Are Everywhere is a pretty self-explanatory title, but the machinima surprised me with its delivery -- several of the jokes had me laughing almost immediately from the visuals.

And since we're in full swing of Hallow's End, it seemed only appropriate to share the film's tongue-in-cheek, slightly spooky message during the holiday. After all, you never know where you'll find an Old God next. If you like the video, be sure to check out Mooclucking's channel on Youtube for more machinima.

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

A Behind the Scenes look at Lords of War with Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin

Earlier this month, Blizzard released a behind the scenes look at Lords of War, the latest short series from the team that brought us The Burdens of Shaohao. Although that behind the scenes glimpse was pretty good, it focused mainly on the story of the short films, the ideas behind the process. Yesterday, another Behind the Scenes featurette was added -- this time, featuring Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin, the artist behind all of those gorgeous moving frames. Austin goes through the process of character design for the shorts and the challenges of bringing the various warlords to life.

This is frankly the kind of behind the scenes stuff I really like to see -- don't get me wrong, I love a story as much as the next person, but I like seeing how it's all put together from a technical standpoint. While the exact process of animating the still paintings is only brushed on, it's still incredibly cool to watch Austin work and explain why particular stylistic choices were put into play. I didn't expect a second installment to this series, so I'm almost hoping we might yet see a third installment that goes into the animation process itself and how all those stunning paintings are brought to life. Either way, the video is a fascinating watch for anyone who wants to see how Blizzard puts their art together.

If you somehow missed Lords of War when it originally aired, you can catch the entire series on World of Warcraft's Youtube channel -- they've even put together a helpful playlist of all the episodes in order.

Filed under: Machinima, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warcraft wallpaper, costume, art, and comic updates

Another round of new art and updates has been added to Blizzard's official website. This time around, the costume updates are all featuring cosplay from BlizzCon 2013. Mylune makes another appearance, along with some stunning costumes of various tier sets and familiar characters from the franchise. In addition to the costume updates, a new wallpaper has been added to the fan art section. The piece, by Juyoung Oh, is a warlock flanked by a couple of Nightmare steeds and wings that would make Deathwing jealous.

And if you're still anxiously awaiting Warlords of Draenor, the concept art gallery has been updated with some new images. There are a few new concept pieces of draenei temples, as well as a pretty stunning piece of Tanaan Jungle lit at various times of day. Rounding it all off is an update to the comic section, appropriately themed for Hallow's End. Take a look at Blizzard's official post for links to all the new updates.


Filed under: Blizzard, Arts and Crafts

The Queue: Things to do

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

Patch 6.0 brought several new things to do, but I've been finding myself revisiting old dungeons more than anything, these past couple of weeks. In particular, both mounts in ZG have eluded me for far too long, and I'm hunkering down to do some serious farming and add them to my collection. With the new troll models, it's like ZG has gotten an update all on its own. Kinda cool, really!

cgilm2526 asked:

So I was doing the dailies at the Argent Tournament on my horde toon. I went to buy the Sen'Jin village banner since its a toy. When I learned the banner, I also learned the Ironforge Banner. Is this a bug or is Blizzard making it easy to get two banners for the price of one?

I don't believe it's a bug. The way all the items worked at the Argent Tournament was that if you obtained an item -- say a Silvermoon banner -- and then at some point in the distant future decided to race-change to Alliance, that Silvermoon banner would automatically change into an Exodar banner. The same applies of course to mounts, but it also applied to the armor models and tier obtained from ToC as well. I have to admit, having just finished farming for those banners myself, it's nice that I only have to do them on one faction, instead of both.

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Filed under: The Queue

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Light of the naaru

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

First featured in the Burning Crusade expansion, the enigmatic naaru have been a constant, benevolent life-force in World of Warcraft -- strange creatures with some sort of eternal crusade against the darkness of the Legion. It was the naaru that saved Prophet Velen and his people when they were on the cusp of being claimed by the dark promises of Sargeras, the naaru that helped them flee, the naaru that taught them the Light. And it was the naaru who seemed to be playing a much, much longer game than anyone else, when Burning Crusade reached its end and the full scope of M'uru's plan was revealed.

Burning Crusade marked the second known occasion that the naaru willingly stepped into the lives of mortal races to pull them away from darkness and reach salvation -- although it's entirely possible they have done this before with other races, on other worlds we've never seen. This has always been presented as the noblest of causes. Yet despite all these altruistic actions, we really know very little about the naaru, where they came from, or ultimately why it is that they feel they must fulfill this task. Yet while Warlords of Draenor largely concerns the orcs and the Iron Horde, there are still a few clues -- just enough to expand that perception of the naaru a little more and raise a few more questions in the process.

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains several spoilers for Warlords of Draenor.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Moviewatch: Sylvanas' Legacy

It's always fun to see different interpretations and visualizations of well-known events in lore. Today's Moviewatch is the story of Sylvanas' fall, put together by Youtuber Jaley Muffinz. The story is pretty straightforward, and one that we've seen told before in a variety of different books, short stories and novels: Sylvanas Windrunner defends the forests of Quel'thelas from Arthas as long as she can, and isn't allowed the mercy of death, instead transformed into the banshee who eventually reclaimed her body and became leader of the Forsaken. Sylvanas' Legacy isn't really covering new content here, it's simply retelling one of Warcraft's classic tales.

This seems to be the first large-scale project for Jaley Muffinz, and it's a pretty ambitious hunk of history to tackle, but Jaley does a good job for a fledgling effort. The models are awkward at times, but the film does use the older models, and there's a limit to what those models are capable of doing. Jaley also rounded up a variety of voice actors for the various roles in the film, and they do a decent enough job for people that don't do this on any kind of professional level. It's a little rough around the edges, but for a first effort on something of this scale, it works well enough, and shows plenty of potential for future projects down the road. I'm hoping we'll see more of Jaley Muffinz as time goes on here -- it's going to be fun to watch those skills develop and progress.


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: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Free Character Migrations for select EU realms

Players on EU realms looking for a change of pace or simply a new place to call home should take note -- Blizzard has opened up free Character Migrations for select EU realms. These Character Migrations are a one-time move from a predetermined list of source realms to a choice of a few destination realms. It's a one-time, one-way move, but it's absolutely free of charge for those that want to take advantage of the process while it's available. At the moment, these Character Migrations will be available until October 23. However, they can be closed down at any time, if enough people have taken advantage of the offer.

Players may also want to note that this is on an individual character basis only. Any guild leaders looking to move their guilds may do so through the Guild Master Realm Transfer service, which they'll still need to pay for. However, guild members that want to follow to the new realm can do so for free with the Character Migration offer. Please note -- this service is only available to EU realms, and at this time, there are no free Character Migrations available for US players. Read on for the official announcement, as well as the full list of available realms for the Free Character Migration offer.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Queue: Stuck on dancing

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Anne Stickney (@Shadesogrey) is answering all kinds of questions today.

On the discussion of dancing in WoW, Nocjin and jonmynard reminded me of the existence of the above video, which is still pretty awesome, even with the old models implemented. I'm just wondering what it would look like if it used the newer models. Far less flipper hand, for one thing!

ISO1600 asked:

QftQ: Why oh why do old, easily-soloable raids still have weekly lock-outs? They obviously want us to farm them for transmog, and I REALLY want a Hammer of the Naaru, but only being able to run the Lair once a week sucks.

Because all that stuff is still content to be completed. We are powerful, yes, but our characters are not gods, and should not be able to just mow over all prior content with no limitations in place. If you were able to just run in for a four hour stretch and smack bosses around until you got your hammer, that would pretty much eliminate any reason for you to go back and continue to do that content. Transmog managed to create new uses for old content that didn't exist before -- they aren't going to remove that aspect of the feature, not when it's so wildly popular.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Collection frenzy

There was a really interesting post over on Alternative Chat the other day that got me thinking -- it talked about the Toy Box and a little bit about a curious phenomenon called completion and how it affects players. I have to say I'm one of those players it affects, particularly in the waning days of an expansion cycle when there's little else to do. If you give me a list of things, and I only have part of those things, and there are more of those things to get, I will inevitably go out and try to get them all. Why? I don't know. But if I did, I'd doubtless have the secrets of the universe in my grasp.

The same applies not just to collections, but to things like reputation bars -- if they are not completely filled, I have a curious compulsion to fill them. If I have some kind of progress counter, I need to fill up in the same way. What makes this interesting, as Alternative Chat pointed out, is that it creates a different kind of content, one that maybe isn't for everyone, but it's viable all the same. The Toy Box was created in part as a space saver, to get all those delightful little items out of people's bags and allow Blizzard to freely add more of these kinds of items at their leisure. But hey -- throw a few achievements in the mix, make a pretty UI interface for the thing, and suddenly you have another game of gotta-catch-them-all that will keep people busy for months, maybe even years.

I know I'm not unique in my collecting obsession -- and I know I'm not the only one staring at my Toy Box and mentally checking off items and where to go to get the things to fill the darkened spaces. But I'm curious just how many of us there are out there. Do you like the collecting game? Are you using the Toy Box? Are you finding yourself going out of the way to track down those elusive toys you didn't realize you didn't have? Or are collections, achievement points, reputation bars, and all the rest simply things you don't really pay attention to or care about?


Filed under: Breakfast Topics