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WoW Moviewatch: Westfall Pumpkins

Westfall Pumpkins is a tale of not-so-friendly competition between two determined farmers entering into a pumpkin-growing contest. Like any good rivalry, the pair are in no way content to let the other do their thing, and just can't bear to be outdone. In Azeroth, though, we know that nobody is content to let nature simply take its course, and so alchemy, magic, and an impressive judging panel rule the day in this entertaining tale of gardening gone wrong. Whose pumpkin will take home the blue ribbon? You'll have to watch to find out.
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

New female tauren model

Female Tauren
The latest artcraft post has been released on the WoW official website, and it previews nothing less than the new female tauren model. This model update in particular has been highly anticipated, because the old female tauren models are...well, they're not all that expressive, are they? Fortunately, their blank bovine stares are all set to be a thing of the past. The new models take full advantage of newer texture-rendering capabilities, featuring gorgeous detail in the fur, a full range of facial expressions, and far more natural-looking hair. In addition, their hands have also been scaled-down, as Senior Art Director Chris Robinson notes that female tauren hands were particularly huge, even by WoW standards.

Head on over to the official site for the full preview, it's well worth your time.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas livestream

Check out WoW Insider's live stream for the new Hearthstone expansion pack: Curse of Naxxramas! Our own Robert Wing will give you the scoop on all the new cards and how they play. If you're interested in Hearthstone, here's your chance to get a glimpse of all the new features in action. Happy card slinging!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Heroes of the Storm: New hero announced

Today a new hero option was announced for Blizzard's MOBA Heroes of the Storm: Rehgar Earthfury. I'm not surprised that Blizzard is giving us a shaman hero--after all, shaman are an iconic group in WoW lore and gameplay--but I am surprised that they've chosen Reghar as the shaman's representative. Compared to more well-known shaman in WoW such as Thrall, Rehgar tends to fly under the radar. He does, however, have his own history and tale to tell. Rehgar is one of the older generation of orcs and was born on Draenor. When Thrall came to power he eventually served as one of his advisors but before that Rehgar was a slave master who owned a particularly infamous gladiator: Varian Wrynn.

Rehgar is a support character who posseses an ability set that goes along with his shaman class: he can turn into a spirit wolf, drop totems, and call upon the elements to aid him in battle. He seems to use a fist weapon for his basic physical attack, and I'm certain he'll have a range of fun shaman specialist attacks to go along with that. Frost Shock had better be on the cards! I'll also be interested to see what additional skins he gets--maybe a Thrall makeover, complete with epic braids?

The announcement of Reghar as a hero makes me very sad that Varian isn't a playable hero option. If you've been playing the alpha or watching streams, you may have noticed that heroes with lore connections in their respective franchises often have more personalized banter when they interact on the battlefield. I would love to see what Rehgar and Varian have to say to each other, but it doesn't seem to be on the cards just yet. Here's hoping for the future!

Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm

Warlords of Draenor: Beasts of a savage land

Beasts of the savage lands
Zone previews have become an expected and anticipated facet of the news surrounding Warlords of Draenor, and now mob previews are being added to that mix. The first of them highlights some fearsome new creatures--some familiar, some not--that are to be found in Shadowmoon Valley. The hulking, rocky-skinned Riverbeasts are reminiscent of hippopotamuses, with their square snouts, pillar-like feet, and bad attitude. Podlings are creepy-cute evil flowers that will forever haunt my nightmares, and of course, the elekk should be familiar to anyone who's ever played a draenei--though these new models are definitely a step up in intimidation. Draenor ancients are tree-based forest guardians, the draenic equivalents of the treants we all know and love.

I love this little sneak peak into the roaming creatures of Shadowmoon Valley. The zone previews have been some of my favorite promotional items for Warlords of Draenor, because they give you just enough information to let your imagination fill in the gaps. This mini-beastiary adds a few more set pieces to the landscape of Draenor, and I hope that some versions of these mobs are rare spawns that drop loot or at least bragging rights for the intrepid players who bring them down. I'm also hanging on every word about the draenei rangari, because so far we know relatively little about them but they sound like the most fascinating sect of the draenei by far. Check out some of the beasts of Shadowmoon Valley, and I'm certain we will see more from other zones in the future, as well.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Talador preview

Talador
The Warlords of Draenor zone previews continue with Talador, the heart of the draenei civilization on Draenor. Associate Quest Designer Johnny Cash provides an overview of what promises to be a stunning zone. Talador is the original, pre-Burning Crusade version of Terokkar Forest, a lush, forested zone home to both Shattrath City and the sacred Auchindoun. In Warlords, we'll see Shattrath and Auchindoun in their full glory, along with other draenei outposts such as Tuurem and Telmor, however all is not well. Shattrath is under occupation by the Iron Horde, and it will be the player's job -- along with allies, of course -- to liberate the city. Similarly, Auchindoun is being threatened by the brutal Teron'gor (you may know him better as Teron Gorefiend, the very first death knight), as well as being threatened by demons from the Burning Front. Players will fight alongside Exarch Maladaar, leader of the Auchenai, and Lady Liadrin in defending the draenei's sacred mausoleum.
In addition, Talador will provide players with a choice between building an Arcane Sanctum or an Arsenal for their garrison outpost. Each will provide a means of support for the player--either an arcane orb that zaps enemies who get too close, or artillery strikes from mounted arsenal cannons. Furthermore, Talador holds plenty of secrets, like rumors of mythical Arakkoa, who have left their shadowy, ancestral homes in the Spires of Arak for reasons we can only guess at.

Talador is the zone I'm probably looking forward to the most, because Terokkar was my favorite zone in The Burning Crusade. I can't wait to see Shattrath and Auchindoun the way they were meant to be seen, and to fight alongside great heroes of the draenei in order to protect these precious cities. I'm sure Talador holds many exciting adventures for us denizens of Azeroth, and I look forward to experiencing them.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Heroes of the Storm: New battleground revealed

Heroes of the Storm Heroes
The Heroes of the Storm official site has released a new interview with Senior Technical Designer Meng Song all about the game's new battleground map: the Garden of Terror. The Garden is a three-lane map that cycles between daytime and nighttime, with corresponding changes to both lighting and map features. During the day, there are the usual mercenary camps for players to capture, but they disappear when night falls, and instead night horrors will appear in the garden sections of the map. The night sequence ends when all night horrors are killed.

In addition, players can gather seeds by killing certain mobs scattered around the map. Once 100 seeds have been collected, players can summon a Garden Terror in their base. Much like the Dragon Shire map, the player that summons the Garden Terror becomes it, granting you two powerful abilities: Plant Horror Overgrowth, which disables and damages enemy buildings, and Spore Queen's Curse, which turns your enemies into piddling little Plant Zombies.

It's great to see a new map being added to Heroes for some extra variety. I'm really interested to see how the day/night cycle works out in gameplay, particularly because the transition is player-controlled. I'm sure there will be a variety of strategies for when and why to try and shift the map into night, and for how long to leave it there. Mostly, it will just be nice to have another possible option on the battleground roulette wheel.

Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm

Warlords of Draenor: Jumping puzzles abound

Warlords beta drinking nelf
Our friends at Wowhead have uncovered something I can honestly say I never thought I'd see in WoW: jumping puzzles. Well, I guess you could call those really annoying spots in Blackfathom Deeps and Wailing Caverns "jumping puzzles" but really, they're just jumps. So far three separate jumping puzzles have been spotted in Draenor. You'll find them at the Circle of Blood, the waterfall at Moonwillow Peak in Shadowmoon Valley, and the eastern end of Daggermaw Ravine. According to Wowhead, Circle of Blood is the easiest of the three, and Daggermaw Ravine the most difficult. All have rewards awaiting the intrepid jumping populace, be it a rare spawn with rare loot or a treasure chest of goodies.

The presence of jumping puzzles in the game brings the question of player flying capabilities to the forefront once more. We already know we won't be able to fly in Draenor at release, but it's been speculated that flying will be added into the game after a certain point. However, player flying renders challenges such as jumping puzzles completely obsolete. Why would you bother when you can just drop in from above? Of course, that doesn't mean that Blizzard will never allow flying in Draenor--content isn't designed to be new indefinitely. However, it does make me feel like perhaps our grounding in Draenor is meant to be more permanent than initially expected. Or maybe I'm reading way too much into this. What do you think?

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Gaze of the Black Prince returns

Wrathion
Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday July 15th, at 9:00 am PDT, the Gaze of the Black Prince buff will reappear on live servers. This game-wide buff increases reputation gains with The Black Prince by 100%, and increases your chance to earn Sigils of Wisdom, Sigils of Power, Secrets of the Empire, and Titan Runestones. The buff will last two weeks and end at 9:00 am PDT on July 29th. If you've got a toon working on that legendary cloak questline, you just might be able to push through and finish it up in the next two weeks.

Make sure to check out Anne Stickney's guide to getting that fancy orange piece of gear if you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed, there are some great tips there for using your time as efficiently as possible. For those of you aiming to get your legendary cloak--be it your first or fifth--good luck, and may the Gaze of the Black Prince help you out.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Warlords of Draenor: New battle pet models

New battle pets from Wowhead
Over the last few days we've all become intimately familiar with the new Molten Corgi pet and its model. Two more datamined battle pet models have joined it: the Grovestrider Hatchling and the Draenei Micro Defender. In addition, there's another new pet currently sans model: the Dwarf Gronnling. I am going to make an educated guess and say that this last pet probably looks like a teeny tiny gronn. If so, that'll be fantastic. I've always wanted one of those.

The Grovestrider Hatchling is a fun, if pretty typical-looking small bird model with blue, green, and sliver feathers and red eyes. Of the two new models, the Draenei Micro Defender definitely steals the show. As one of the Wowhead commenters points out it looks like a little Protoss. It's got two shiny shields and some chic crystalline armor. I'm definitely going to try and get my grubby little paws on that thing as soon as I can.

Images courtesy of Wowhead

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor