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Legendary East strikes deal over Warcraft film distribution

Tauren and night elf
You're probably familiar with the Burbank-based company Legendary Entertainment, at least because they're the powerhouse behind the "Warcraft" film. Their affiliate, Legendary East, has recently announced that the largest film distributor in China, China Film Co., has made an eight-figure investment in two of Legendary's upcoming films--"Seventh Son" and, you guessed it, "Warcraft." If either film gets released in China, China Film Co. will be the one to distribute it.

This is an interesting development because until 2012 China capped the number of foreign films allowed into the country every year at 20. The current limit is 34. It does make sense that Chinese film distributors would be very interested in having the Warcraft movie be one of those 34 allowed films, because World of Warcraft is hugely popular in China. Legendary Entertainment currently lists the Warcraft movie as being scheduled for release on March 11th, 2016.

Filed under: News items, Warcraft Movie

Old models to remain available at low graphics

Over on the EU forums is an ongoing discussion of a type that usually comes about every expansion cycle: the question of whether or not your computer will need upgrades in order to run the new content. The short answer from CM Taepsilum is that, if you're happy with your computer's current performance in WoW, you're probably fine for Warlords of Draenor. So there's the answer to that.

However, fleetingly mentioned at the beginning of the post is the following interesting tidbit:
Taepsilum
Quote: Maideen

Since we are being blessed with new character models (Which can be disabled? Yes, no?)
Yes, if you set your graphics quality to Low.

This isn't something that's been explicitly clarified before now. There's been some talk that there would be a way to switch between the old and new models but we hadn't heard exactly how that would be done. It seems we now know: just set your graphics to "low" and it will enable the old player character models. If you've been nervous that your beloved main of many years might be changing irreversibly, hopefully this allows you to breathe a little easier. There'll be a way back!

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Wowcraft episode 2

Not too long ago, CarBot animations released the first episode of their WoW-themed shorts, Wowcraft. CarBot's an old hand at adorable tongue-in-cheek takes on Blizzard games, having done a parody trailer for Reaper of Souls, Heroes of the Storm, and a whole series on StarCraft. The videos are sweet and often hilarious, deftly poking fun at experiences I'm sure most of us can relate to. In Wowcraft's second episode, "Quest for Tooth," our (still) nameless hero is assigned the task of collecting teeth from Durotar's strangely cute coyotes. It goes about as well as you'd expect.

I love CarBot's videos, but one thing I particularly admire is the way he juxtaposes the visuals and the sound. A lot of the sound effects in "Quest for Tooth" come straight from WoW itself. Their use and timing along with the original animations provide a good bit of the humor in the video. There's one specific sound-based joke here that absolutely cracked me up, but I won't name it because doing so would spoil it. Take a guess at which one it was in the comments, though!

Filed under: Humor

WoW Moviewatch: Hump Day

It's not often you see a commercial parody in a WoW machinima--well, maybe parody isn't the right word. This Brad Bergman video isn't so much making fun of the commercial as it is recasting it using WoW as footage, instead of the original.

The manipulations around the characters mouths and the clever use of idle animations are what really sell this clip. Unusual as the genre may be, it's worth a shot. Give it a watch if you get a kick out of WoW-ified film audio, and I hope it brings a smile to your face, as it did mine!
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: Humor, WoW Moviewatch

Warlords of Draenor: Artcraft provides first look at new female draenei

Draenei artcraft
Just the other day Artcraft revealed the new male tauren models--complete with animations and videos--and today they're at it again with a sneak peek at the (real) new draenei female model. This is a quick look, as emphasized in the post itself, because the model has yet to be sent to the animation team. As a result you'll notice her posture in this preview is quite different from the draenei model we know and love. That will change once the animation team gets a chance to properly rig and pose the model, but for now we're getting a glimpse of a work very much in-progress.

At first glance, the new draenei model doesn't seem as different from the old one as the tauren or orc models, for example, but this is to be expected. The original draenei (and blood elf) models, implemented in Burning Crusade, were a significant step up from the models of classic WoW. That being said, there's marked improvement in these previews. The hair, the detail of the leg musculature, and in particular the hands all give our beloved draenei much more depth and finesse in the body. The curvature of her head-tentacles is also much smoother and more realistic-looking. This is a nice upgrade from the current draenei, and I look forward to seeing more.


Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Wowhead launches Warlords of Draenor database

Dark Portal
With the Warlords of Draenor alpha now underway, the datamining efforts are in full swing. Our friends over at Wowhead have compiled their information into a specific Warlords of Draenor database, ready to fulfill all your spoiler-iffic, data-licious desires. You can find tabs for spells, talents, glyphs, factions, zones, items, and even a few item sets, for the transmogrification-conscious. Some of the details, such as icons, are still missing, but this is only the first round of datamining, and only the alpha after all! The database will certainly be updated as needed and as more information becomes available.

As if to further emphasize the ephemerality of some of this information, there are some entertaining little alpha tidbits in there--items such as the "Test Chest" (it rhymes!), "Chris' New CR Test Gloves," and the fantastic "Novel Mind-Blowing Chest Guard." For some unfathomable reason I have a sneaking suspicion that these aren't the items' final names. It's just a hunch, though!

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Talented

Warrior talents
With the release of the first set of patch 6.0 patch notes--I'm certain there will be many variants to come--talk is buzzing about all the major changes and adjustments we'll be seeing come Warlords of Draenor. In addition to reading about all this, I've been doing some perusal of the level 100 talents (as they currently stand).

In particular, I think all three of the new feral druid talents sound great, though Lunar Inspiration is my favorite just for concept alone. The restoration druid options aren't quite as exciting, in my opinion, though they certainly aren't anything to sneer at. The other classes I play regularly are my frost mage and my retribution paladin, and a few of their talents strike my fancy as well--Comet Storm for the mage and Empowered Seals for the paladin in particular sound fun and useful, respectively.

Have you looked over the talents in detail? Some haven't changed much since BlizzCon, but some haven't been documented publicly until now. What do you like? What don't you like? What do you wish were there?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Dark Shaman pull from anywhere

My Horde guild recently discovered something interesting about the Dark Shaman encounter, as you can see detailed in the video above. This interesting something is the fact that the Dark Shaman will, in fact, teleport to wherever you pull them from--including the roof of the Orgrimmar auction house. This could be a little challenging in a fight where positioning is actually quite important. Oops!

Filed under: Humor, Raiding

Connection problems for both North American and European players

Website down
Blizzard Customer Service is in the process of dealing with connection issues facing players on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. For the North American players, login errors have been plaguing both the Account Management website, and several games--World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Hearthstone.
For players in Europe, Blizzard noted yesterday on their EU support blog that the high latency and connection issues are, in fact, the result of a series of DDoS attacks that have been levied at Blizzard servers for the past few days. Blizzard is monitoring the situation and asks that players follow their European customer service Twitter account for updates and further information.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Hearthstone's Trump talks Twitch with Mashable

Hearthstone logo
For a long time, if you wanted to watch someone else play Blizzard games live, Starcraft II was your only real option, with some WoW arena gaming popping up here and there. With the addition of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and now the technical alpha of Heroes of the Storm, though, Blizzard has quickly grown their number of streamer-friendly titles.

Many of you are probably familiar with Jeffrey Shih, aka Trump, a Hearthstone streamer who currently makes his living doing just that--playing Hearthstone on Twitch.tv. He's one of a several streamers featured in a recent article on Mashable that discusses the state of gameplay streaming as both entertainment and work. Twitch currently partners with about 5100 streamers who make income from their gaming, and some, such as Trump, make enough to do it as a full-time job. If you're interested in gaming as a profession this is a neat article that discusses some of the realities of the work itself, as well as the factors that have made such work possible in the last few years.

Filed under: Interviews, Hearthstone Insider

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