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Elizabeth Harper

Austin, TX - http://www.vampiresdontdance.com/

Writer, gamer, herder of puppies.

WoW Moviewatch: Ulduar Abridged

Whether you've never been to Ulduar but want the Ulduar experience or you have fond memories of raiding the place during Wrath, Ulduar Abridged is your machinima fix. It's not just a rundown off bosses, but a rundown of the conversations you would have had on Vent if you were running Ulduar when it was new. Brought to us by the fine individuals of Slightly Impressive, it's the latest in a series of similar raid videos, including Icecrown Citadel and Siege of Orgrimmar.

So what are you waiting for? Let's get this nostalgia train on the road!
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

Warlords of Draenor: Garrison basics

If you're venturing into Draenor for the first time, there's no avoiding the new garrison feature: it's at the heart of all of your adventuring into this new world. But before it can become a hub for questing, professions, and missions (more on that later), you'll have to build it.

Fortunately, it's not very hard: as soon as you make your way through Tanaan Jungle, your first task will be establishing a garrison in Shadowmoon Valley (alliance) or Frostfire Ridge (horde).

If you want to know more, we're about to cover the basics of Warlords of Draenor's garrison system. Though no story spoilers follow, if you want to head to Draenor without knowing what comes next, you'll probably want to skip this post.

Now, onward, to Draenor!

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: What would you change about Warcraft's past?

We know that Warlords of Draenor takes place in an alternate version of the game world we know. And, as the trailer showed, in this world, Grommash doesn't drink the demon blood that enslaved the orcs to the Burning Legion... though it apparently doesn't stop them from being conquerors.

But now that the door to crazy alternate Warcraft universes has been open, let's make use of it! Looking back on the history of Warcraft, what would you go back and change if you could? In my case, I think I'd go back to that Nagrand quest chain where we helped convince Garrosh that he was leadership material. Why did we ever do that?! (Answer: to get the quest achievement. But it wasn't worth it!)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you want the Alliance and Horde to work together again?

I've never really been into the Alliance vs. Horde thing. I've played -- and have friends that play -- on both sides of the fence and I have fond memories of time as both Alliance and Horde. So why do the Alliance and Horde never seem to get along? As the game's storyline has pushed the Horde into the role of defacto villains, with Garrosh leading the charge to bomb Theramore, attack Ashenvale, and destroy the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, the rivalry's made a lot sense ... but it's also made me a lot less interested in playing Horde characters. (And I say this as someone who once had a blood elf main. Sure, blood elves weren't always good guys, but even my naaru-enslaving blood elf paladin had to look at Garrosh and say, "Hey, man, that's a step too far.")

But the expansions I've enjoyed the most have always been the ones where the Alliance and the Horde have faced a common enemy, pushing them together as at least impromptu allies. Even if we didn't always like each other, none of us liked Illidan or Arthas. The Garrosh-caused conflict in Mists always felt forced, like my character was being pushed in a direction I didn't approve of (having anything to do with Garrosh) without leaving me any options to decide what I wanted to do... it was go along with everything Garrosh wanted, or play Alliance. (Spoiler alert: these days, I play Alliance.)

So I'm actually kind of excited about Warlords of Draenor, since it looks like the entire game once again has a common enemy... even if it is still (sort of) Garrosh.

So what about you, readers? Do you want more war in your Warcraft? Or do you prefer it when we all work together? Do you think the factions will have to band together to defeat the Iron Horde?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you miss vanilla?

With the 10th anniversary events announced, it's clear that Blizzard is trying to take us -- in a way -- back to the days of vanilla WoW, with PvP battles between Tarren Mill and Southshore and an updated 40-player Molten Core raid. But as a vanilla-era player myself, I have to ask: does anyone really miss those days?

While 40-player raids sound epic in scale, the effort coordinating 40 players to be at the same place at the same time -- much less getting them to act as a cohesive unit -- was a fairly major undertaking. And though the new Molten Core takes away some of the headaches by making the event LFR, getting even 25 people to work together in LFR is a challenge.

Will I be in the new anniversary version of Molten Core with everyone else? Sure. (After all, I want a Core Hound mount as much as anyone.) But have I missed running Molten Core all these years? Not really. What about you, fellow raiders? Are you feeling nostalgic for the good old days of vanilla?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Artcraft shows off male and female trolls

The latest edition of Artcraft is upon us, this time bringing us updated male and female troll models. Though this Artcarft is somewhat scarcer on the model details -- though it does talk about how the troll's tusks are a particular challenge -- it makes up for it by packing in two new new character models.

Though Senior Art Director Chris Robinson comments that "showing both genders together gives you a more cohesive visual story," male and female trolls still have significantly different looks, with the males hunched forward while the females stand upright. Still, like with all the updated models, this refresh gives them a lot of extra detail and character. See below for more images or check the Artcraft post itself for full details.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Your ideal Warcraft reality show

Azeroth Choppers may have come and gone, but that doesn't mean the reality show of your WoW-playing dreams isn't a possibility. It may not be likely, but that's no reason not to speculate on what the next generation of Azeroth Choppers might be. (After all, who thought we would have even one Warcraft-based reality show?) I'm thinking a Big Brother style show featuring WoW NPCs (preferably including faction leaders) could be a big hit, and though that's not entirely reality the same sort of take could be fun with WoW developers. Or maybe we could get something along the lines of The Bachelor that matched up players with guilds.

But it's your turn to jump in on the brainstorming, readers. Tell us, just what kind of Warcraft-based reality show would you like to see next?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What Warcraft swag do you want to see?

Between their own official gear store and the merchandise on J!NX and other retailers, there's plenty of WoW (and Blizzard in general) swag out there for the buying. But with time-limited exclusives -- like the immensely popular (and quickly sold out) Nether Faerie Dragon plush at San Diego Comic-Con -- you can't always get your hands on the swag you want... and maybe Blizzard just hasn't gotten around to making the swag you want yet. (For example, I'd love to see more of swag based on Carbot's properties, like the StarCrafts hoodies.)

But just what Blizzard swag would get you shopping? Do you want more plushies, more hoodies, or something else entirely?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Guess at the Warlords release date

It's official... sort of. We officially know when we'll know the Warlords of Draenor release date (August 14th), though we don't know the date itself. Blizzard originally told us we'd be playing Warlords by this fall, with the official pre-order page saying the game will be released "on or before 12/20/2014." On Amazon, the official strategy guide has a release date of September 23rd, though that could be a guess on Amazon's part as well (Amazon's predicted date for Warlords itself is December 20th).

So armed with this information, it's time to step up and take your guess: Just when do you think Warlords of Draenor will be released?

When will Warlords of Draenor be released?
August59 (0.6%)
September1094 (10.9%)
October3497 (34.8%)
November3284 (32.7%)
December1680 (16.7%)
Even later443 (4.4%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: When will the Siege of Orgrimmar reach Orgrimmar?

Though the Siege of Orgrimmar patch was released way back in September 2013, the situation in the live version of Orgrimmar has changed very little since the so-called siege begun. If you play a horde character, portals throughout the game send you to Orgrimmar as the horde capitol... even though Orgrimmar under the rule of Garrosh is hardly a friendly place. Patrolled by the all-orc Kor'Kron Guard, the city streets aren't particularly welcoming to non-orcs -- or anyone who disagrees with Garrosh's leadership.

While this made for a strong story element when patch 5.4 was launched, it's rather outstayed its welcome. At this point, even a wrecked, post-siege Orgrimmar would seem a more welcoming place than the fear-filled city that's been the center of the horde's game world for nearly a year. So tell us, readers -- when do you think Orgrimmar will get a post-Garrosh makeover? And what will we see taking its place come Warlords?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics