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Sarah Pine

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Hearthstone hits 20 million registered players

Hearthstone header
Blizzard hit a milestone recently with the free-to-play digital card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft breaking 20 million registered players. For scale, that's double the number of players WoW had at its peak during Wrath of the Lich King in 2010. The most amazing thing about that is Hearthstone has yet to release on all intended platforms: Android tablet, Android phone, and iOS phone versions are still forthcoming.

All in all, the registration numbers indicate that there is very widespread interest in Hearthstone indeed, and for good reason. It's a ton of fun to play!

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider

Lords of War part 3: Durotan

Hot on the heels of Lords of War: Grommash Hellscream, comes the story of Thrall's father, Durotan of the Frostwolves, along with somewhat of a change of pace. As with the previous two installments of the series, part three begins with Maraad and Varian conversing over a tactical map, deliberating on how to handle the Iron Horde threat. Maraad assures Varian that not all orcs are monsters, and tells the tale of Durotan, who braved the harsh winter of Frostfire Ridge alone, without his clan, in an attempt to save his mother. His efforts exacted a harsh toll, a lesson Durotan has never forgotten.

Check out Lords of War Part One: Kargath, and Lords of War Part Two: Grommash Hellscream. The series still has one more episode remaining, and we look forward to its completion!

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Alterac Brew Pup 40% off this week

Alterac Brew Pup
Pet collectors, if you've been waffling over whether or not to pick up the adorable, fuzzy Alterac Brew Pup, this might be the week to do it. This shaggy little critter will not only keep you warm during the cold, mountainous nights, it will carry your beer for you, too. A dwarf's (or pandaren's) best friend, truly. The Alterac Brew Pup will be available for 40% off until September 6th, 2014. Get 'em while they're hot, and while the beer is cold.

Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: Tanaan stress test today at 3:00 p.m. Pacific

Tanaan intro
If you've got the free time and access to the Warlords beta, consider lending a hand to the development team and joining the Tanaan Jungle stress test, today, September 10th, at 3:00 pm Pacific time. The level 100 realms will be turned off for the duration of the test, and the Blues are encouraging us all to create new level 90s in order to test the server load on the Tanaan Jungle introductory quests. This is an important aspect of Warlords of Draenor, particularly because everyone will have to do these quests at the beginning of the expansion. The more accurate data Blizzard has on what their servers can handle, the better they can make the early expansion experience for all of us.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

The Undermine Journal returns

Undermine Journal header
Back in July, we reported on the sad news that The Undermine Journal, long a staple resource for WoW's Auction House enthusiasts, was closing down. In their corresponding blog post, they did mention that if they were working on an Undermine Journal 2.0, and hoped to have it up and running eventually. That eventuality became reality earlier this week, when The Undermine Journal reopened it's doors. The new site is still a work in progress--there's no EU support yet, for example--but they plan on having that ready to go by the time patch 6.0 arrives, so never fear.

I'm sure that news of The Undermine Journal's rebirth will be happily received by many, and may all of your auctions always be profitable. Welcome back!

Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: Getting resources for your Garrison

‚ÄčAlliance garrison
The player's Garrison is one of the central features of Warlords of Draenor, coming with its own special Hearthstone, and in many ways taking the place of a faction hub. Depending on what kind of structures you choose to build in your Garrison, you can have your own crafting centers, bank access, auction house, PvP center, and more. However, to build any of them, you need resources.

In fact, to do just about anything with your Garrison you need resources. You need them for buildings, for crafting, and in order to send your followers on missions. So, just how do you get Garrison Resources? Well, I'm glad you asked. There are a variety of ways to earn your Garrison Resources in Warlords of Draenor, some easier than others.

Read more →

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Lords of War Part Two: Grommash Hellscream

The second installment of Blizzards animated short series Lords of War debuted today, shedding more background on the leader of the Iron Horde: Grommash Hellscream. There's not doubt that Grommash is a pivotal figure in the upcoming expansion, with his son, Garrosh, having been a central figure in the Mists of Pandaria. Like the previous installment of Lords of War, the new episode opens with Maraad urging Varian to take the offensive and march through the new Dark Portal to face the Iron Horde head on. He then goes on to tell the tale of the events that earned Grommash the undying loyalty of his Warsong clan and how he, against incredible odds, bested the ogre nations united against him. We also get a glimpse of Grommash's mate, Golka, and her fate at the hands of the retaliating ogres.

Check out Lords of War Part Two: Grommash, and learn more about the senior Hellscream, and what makes him who he is.

Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: No more Tier vendors

Vaelastrasz
One of the more irritating and frustrating aspects of winning Tier loot from bosses is having to take the token to a vendor in order to actually get the piece of armor you won. Nowadays it's rare for me to equip a piece as soon as I get it, unless it's a truly huge upgrade, but I still find it annoying to have to take a token to a vendor in order to get the actual piece of gear. In addition, as a druid, there are four versions of everything available for each token, and scrolling through page after page of nearly-identically named armor pieces makes my eyes cross. Minor complaints, really, but nonetheless the following announcement by Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas, aka Watcher, on Twitter really made my day:
This is a fantastic quality of life change for raiders. No more running to vendors and no more waiting to get your new piece of Tier gear. I'd say "no more accidentally buying the wrong piece" with your token too, but in Warlords, your primary stats will auto-change when you shift specs anyway, so that's no big deal. In any case, this new system will be more convenient for players, and I'm certainly thankful for that!

Filed under: Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Tank changes

Tank
Technical Game Designer Chadd Nervig, aka Celestalon, has been answering some inquiries on Twitter lately, and hinted at a few of the changes we can look forward to with tanking. It seems all tanks are up for tweaks, in some fairly overarching ways.

If you're not familiar with Resolve, it's essentially what Vengeance has become in Warlords of Draenor, albeit with some changes. Currently, Resolve improves self-healing and absorbs done by the tank to the tank and partially converts mastery to attack power. How it will be further tweaked in Warlords remains to be seen, but the overall change itself should help tanks be tanks without overshadowing the DPS.

The rest of the tweet is much more intriguing, but does fit with the overall theme of scaling down we're seeing in Warlords. Lowering tank health and mitigation seems risky, but if boss damage is also reduced, then it shouldn't be a problem. For a long time, Blizzard has made noises about how they wanted to slow down the pace of boss fights, especially in the final tiers of an expansion. Damage that's less devastating, healing that is slower pace and choices that are more meaningful. To me, these changes read as being in line with that philosophy. I will be interested to see them implemented, and how they affect gameplay in the beta.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Diablo Season 1 launches Friday, August 29

Diablo 3 Transmog
The first Diablo III Season is scheduled to launch this coming Friday, August 29. If you're not familiar with the concept of Diablo III Seasons, it's a system designed to encourage rolling new characters and tackling specific types of challenges in the game. Season challenges include Conquests, accomplishments similar to Achievements but often more difficult in nature and only able to be completed by a Seasonal hero. There are also a new set of leaderboards documenting Seasonal heroes' accomplishments throughout the Season, as well as special gear and transmog rewards for participants. You can learn more about the first Diablo III Season in Blizzard's Patch 2.1.0 previews. Good luck to all the participating players!

Filed under: Diablo 3

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