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Anne Stickney

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Patch 6.0.2 adds new pets for collecting

A few new pets have been added with patch 6.0.2 -- some far, far easier to come across than others. Completing all quests in the Blasted Lands will reward players with a title as well as the Iron Starlette, a miniature Iron Star of your very own. In addition, orc mobs in the Blasted Lands have a chance to drop the Time-Locked Box, which contains the often coveted but never before seen bronze whelpling. A couple of other pets are available, but whether or not they are obtainable is a good question. Those with a passion for collecting can now begin work on the achievement So. Many. Pets. -- it requires players to collect a whopping 600 unique pets, and rewards the beautiful blue Stormwing upon completion. And according to Warcraft Pets, the Sky-bo pet seems to have made its way into the Blingtron 4000 gift package -- whether or not this was intended isn't certain.

Speaking of Warcraft Pets, Breanni's got some other useful information for pet collectors and Battle Pet enthusiasts. Patch 6.0.2 brought about some changes to hit and critical strike in regards to pet battles, and Breanni's got all the details on what's been changed, and how it affects pet brawling. For more about pets in 6.0.2, Warlords of Draenor, and beyond, be sure to check out Warcraft Pets, which also has a database detailing all new pets coming to the game with the expansion's release in November.

Filed under: Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Garrisons and the story of Warlords

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.

We are about to kick off the beginning of Warlords of Draenor's story when patch 6.0 releases in a couple of days here. It's an explosive beginning, and there's plenty of story to be had, but we won't see things really pick up and get going until the expansion releases in November. Everyone has their own way of leveling through an expansion, whether it's a race to the finish, or a more leisurely stroll through content, taking one's time and experiencing all the story the expansion has to offer -- and Warlords has a lot of story to tell in its opening chapters.

However, there seems to be some apprehension about garrisons and how they're going to work with the game, how they are set up, whether or not they require a massive time sink, whether they can be ignored entirely, or if the story hinges on completing garrison content, and whether or not garrisons are actually going to pull people out of the story and expansion experience. Today, we're going to step back from the usual lore presentation and instead look at garrisons, how they work with the story being told, and why this feature is actually one of the better storytelling devices Blizzard has put together.

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

WoW Moviewatch: The Black Prince of Veiled Stair

I have absolutely no idea how this slipped under my nose for so long, but the above video is in fact exactly what you think it should be, and it's amazing. The Black Prince of Veiled Stair was put together by Nan the Mistweaver and features vocals deftly delivered by Youtube parody artist Kavo. As always, Nan's video work is excellent here, capturing the story being told with appropriately flashy cuts and special effects that complement without being too overwhelming. The vocals are amazing -- the lyrics were apparently the combined effort of Kavo and Pennygearaxe, and match the original song syllable for syllable.

I don't remember the first time I heard this particular idea for a parody being bandied about, but I'm beyond happy to see it come to life like this. Check out the video and while you're at it, head to both Nan the Mistweaver's channel for more machnima, or Kavo's channel for more excellent parody work.

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

Filed under: Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Choosing the right Garrison buildings for you

Once you head through the Dark Portal in Warlords of Draenor, you're going to be faced with a variety of choices, particularly when it comes to building your garrison for the first time. While the process may seem like a complicated jumble of various bonuses and purposes, it's actually relatively easy to get your garrison up and running -- and your first few buildings will be handed to you right off the bat. As you continue to level, however, you're going to face more and more choices in regards to what to place in your Draenor stronghold.

Garrison buildings are also tied into professions in Warlords, although not quite as rigidly as you might think. Instead, what the buildings do is offer you a way to craft items that involve professions you might not already have trained. It's about flexibility and choice. It's also not something that's going to take up the majority of your time while you're in Draenor. Your garrison is fully capable of functioning on its own, once you've handed out the orders. So how do you pick what's right for you? It's a personal decision, but here are some things you want to keep in mind when you're getting started.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Rexxar is the best

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.

Rexxar is really strong. And brave. And cool. And the best, pretty much. He's Draenor's superhero.

Jammy asked:

Wtf, how does a 583 rogue die in a 5 man?


No really though, trash was easy, but the first boss of Mogu'shan Palace is actually three bosses rolled into one and bandages don't exactly do a lot of self-healing these days. Any other boss and I likely would have been absolutely fine. I also wasn't really prepared for or paying much attention to anything beyond a quick test run to see if I could bowl over heroic bosses as easily as I murdered my way through the Firelands the other night.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Will you miss Pandaria?

We are days away from the beginning of the end of Pandaria -- the end of the expansion, not the continent, although we managed to do a pretty good job wrecking the place while we were there. Every time an expansion gets to the point where it's drawing to an inevitable close, I start to get a little nostalgic and think about the things I'm going to miss. Of course, one of the bigger things I was going to miss -- good old Dog from my farm -- is actually heading to Draenor with me, or at least will show up in my garrison at some point. Good Dog.

But there are other things I'll miss, too -- the incredibly catchy music in the inns, the rolling hills in the Valley of the Four Winds, the golden trees in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Of course I can go back and play any of this stuff whenever I'd like, on whatever alt I'd like, but it's not exactly the same. On the list of continents and worlds we have been to over the years, Pandaria ranks up there as one of my solid favorites -- the design and detail that went into the environment this expansion was some of the best I've seen.

Yes, I'm excited for Draenor, but I'm going to miss Pandaria anyway. What about you guys? Are you looking forward to starting out someplace brand-new? Are you relieved to be leaving Pandaria behind? How did you like the feel of the place, where does it rate on your list of Azeroth destinations? Putting aside the content and quests and just looking at the map, the scenery, and your character in it, are you going to miss Pandaria at all when we leave?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Hearthstone's Americas Championship deck builds

If you're a Hearthstone fan, you already know the game is partially strategy, and partially building the right deck of cards to play with. The top players at the recent Americas Championship certainly know all about deck building as well as strategic play, and the official Hearthstone site put together a comprehensive list of decks used in the Championship via Hearthhead. Every playable class has at least one entry, and all cards are laid out clearly so you can see what was used.

Although constructing identical decks won't be an instant win in championship play, browsing through the various builds might help you identify which cards are particularly valuable when it comes to competitive play. Head over to Hearthstone's website for the full list -- even if you're an experienced Hearthstone player, it's worth checking out.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Characters of Warcraft updates with Blackhand

Yesterday's comic reveal also brought about a new addition to the Characters of Warcraft section of the official website. Blackhand, Warlord of the Blackrock clan has gotten his own entry on the mini-encyclopedia, along with a full size wallpaper with art by Alex Horley. In our version of history, Blackhand's story is fairly different than what we'll be seeing on Draenor. He was appointed the first Warchief of the Old Horde, and later killed and replaced by his second-in-command, Orgrim Doomhammer. Powerful, yes, but also very much the pawn of Gul'dan.

On Draenor, Blackhand is not the leader of the Iron Horde -- but he was the first to join with Grommash Hellscream, and immediately set to work creating armor and powerful weaponry for the Iron Horde's armies. He might not be the appointed leader we remember, but he's certainly a force to be reckoned with in his own right. You can take a look at the full entry for more information on Blackhand, and while you're there, pick up the wallpaper and download the new comic as well.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The Queue: Fine Draenor cuisine

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.

I always kind of wondered how one cooks clefthoof meat. Apparently it involves throwing the entire clefthoof on a campfire. This seems like it would be a particularly entertaining addition to any mystery basket on Chopped.

Chrth asked:

Q4TQ: If you were to have a social* dinner with anyone from Azeroth, who would it be?

Wrathion. I mean, come on. His table manners are likely impeccable and if I'm lucky there'll be some kind of temper-tantrum floor show or at the very least some really juicy dirt about some dignitary or another.

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Filed under: The Queue

Breakfast Topic: Which side to play?

I'm having that end-of-expansion quandary, and it's never been quite as keenly felt as it is with Warlords of Draenor. On the one hand, I'd like to level my main character immediately at the outset of the expansion, just because I love playing a rogue and Frostfire Ridge is incredibly fun and suitably, well ... savage. On the other, I absolutely love everything there is to see and do in Shadowmoon Valley to the point where I'm thinking maybe I want to level my draenei character first.

In expansions past, it's always been the rogue, simply for the purposes of getting raid-ready as soon as possible with the rest of my raiding guild. But I'm taking a different route with Draenor, one that I haven't traveled since Burning Crusade -- I've decided to retire from heavier raiding, and instead take my time, work on what I can, and just enjoy the content at a leisurely pace. I may pick up raiding at some point later in the expansion, but I'm not really in a place where I want to dedicate the hours to full-time raiding any more.

So here I am, for the first time well and truly torn between the two factions in a way that I'd never expected. It's not that one zone is better than the other, it's that each starting zone is its own wholly unique and beautiful experience. I know I want to play through them both, because they're both totally worth playing for completely different reasons. On the one hand, this is a good thing, because it means Blizzard has managed to hit the ball out of the park when it comes to leveling zones -- on the other, it means I have to make some kind of choice. What about you guys? Which side are you going to play when Warlords begins? Do you plan on playing through both Alliance and Horde content at some point?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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