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Rob Kazinsky says Azeroth sets "exceed every expectation"

Warcraft move actor Rob Kazinsky talked a bit with website zap2it about his impressions of the movie's set, at it's all positive. He gave a glowing review of the interiors, saying that they "were some of the most amazing grandiose things I've ever seen in my entire life." Kazinsky asserted that it was clear the Warcraft team "spared no expense on quality, on building things to be representative of the game and of the highest realism." He explains that there were plenty of green-screens in filming as well, and that plenty of the creatures involved absolutely needed to be digitally rendered, and couldn't be done with makeup. That probably comes as no surprise to those of us who play the game--it would be pretty tough to create a flying dragon outside of a computer!

It's good news to hear about how excited Kazinsky is about the Warcraft movie project. He was once an avid WoW player himself, and I'm sure it was a real thrill to be part of the project. Many of us are eagerly awaiting the film's release, so it's good to know that the people involved share our enthusiasm.

Filed under: News items, Interviews

Amazon acquires Twitch for $970 million

cantorstudyimage
Today Emmett Shear, the CEO of Twitch.tv, announced that Twitch has been acquired by Amazon. In his letter, Shear explained that they went with Amazon in the end because "they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster." We'll see what kind of changes this development brings to our favorite streaming service, and hopefully they will all be welcome ones.

Amazon's interest in the streaming platform initially came as somewhat of a surprise, considering that initial reports cited Google's Youtube division as potentially interested in purchasing Twitch.

Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: The Drake Collector achievement (updated)

Onyxian Drake
If you want dragon mounts, WoW is choc full of them. There are all kinds of dragon mounts, including one from four of the five main Dragonflights, the conspicuous gap in the collection, of course, being and Emerald drake. Now, if you're like me, you've been dreaming of a green dragon mount since you knew dragon mounts were a thing. Thus far, us green drake mount enthusiasts have been left out in the cold. Until Warlords of Draenor, at least, it seems.
On Tuesday, Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft tweeted the above image--a meta-achievement called "The Drake Collector," the reward for which is a coveted Emerald Drake. The meta itself is surprisingly comprehensive. In addition having to collect all of the drakes from the other dragonflights, it also requires the rare and difficult-to-obtain Onyxian Drake, Blazing Drake, and Sandstone Drake. Honestly, I'm surprised at how tough the requirements are for this achievement, particularly the inclusion of the Blazing Drake. The Onyxian Drake might have a lower drop rate, but getting to Onyxia is a lot easier than getting to Deathwing. Though, you could always amass a horde of gold and haunt the Black Market Auction House instead. Both drakes are known to appear there from time to time for a whopping 100,000+ gold. Oh, and I suppose it's time to go level my alchemist.

If you've got a particularly strong opinion on this meta-achievement one way or another, be sure to let Jonathan know via twitter or the official forums. His tweet did ask for feedback, after all!

Update: I somehow missed the tweet yesterday that clarified that the Sandstone Drake part of this meta will be replaced with the Purple Netherwing Drake for quality of life purposes. In my opinion, this is a nice change and will make the collection aspect significantly more straightforward!

Filed under: Achievements, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Old school questing

Mankrik's Wife
In the WoD beta, if you choose to put a Barn on the first available medium plot in your Garrison, as I did circa level 92, you immediately receive a quest from the NPCs there to head to Nagrand and trap an animal. So off I went, west out of Shadowmoon Valley, through Taladar and toward Nagrand, seeking my quarry. This was a mistake. All roads in Taladar lead to Shattrath, and Shattrath is under siege by both level 100 Iron Horde soldiers and demons of the Shadow Council. If you try to run south around Shattrath, you'll end up in Auchindoun, also overrun by Shadow Council demons and a load of other nasties who are way above level 92. Once you've finally made it into Nagrand, you'll discover that it's a level 98-100 zone. Oops.

After many deaths in Nagrand, I finally managed to successfully trap a clefthoof and returned, bruised, battered, but at least triumphant, to my Garrison, where I vowed never to set foot in Nagrand again for at least another five levels, Barn resources be damned. Upon reciting my tale of woe to sympathetic colleague Liz Harper--who went through the same thing when she too chose to put a Barn in her Garrison--I realized that I felt almost like I was picking up my swim form quest in Moonglade as a level 16 night elf druid, only to find that half of the amulet I needed was off the coast of Westfall. I had the same sense of apprehension about the unknown zones I had to head through, frustration when I found I wasn't quite up to the task, and eventual elation as I managed to finish the quest anyway. I thought, "Would I want this kind of questing experience to be a regular WoW feature again?" Is the fist-pumping moment of triumph worth the reckless blundering through two zones full of red-leveled, hostile mobs? Honestly, I'm not sure. What about you? Would you be eager to rise to the challenge, or frustrated to be handed a task so far beyond your current means? How old-school do you want to go?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Five days to qualify for the North American Arena Tournament

Arena PvP
The deadline is fast approaching for those PvP enthusiasts who wish to take part in the North American Arena Tournament. This competition will determine who goes on to represent North America in the WoW Arena World Championship at BlizzCon 2014. To qualify, teams must have an individual 3v3 Arena rating of at least 2,500 on the live realms by 10:00 am PDT on Monday, August 25th. The tournament itself will use a double-elimination format to determine the top three teams from North America, who will then move on to the competition at BlizzCon. The total purse for this year's event is an impressive US$250,000, with a winners' share of US$120,000. Not bad at all! Good luck to all those who are working to qualify!

Filed under: PvP, BlizzCon

Warlords of Draenor beta: Play with the blues August 21

Holinka
For those in the Warlords of Draenor beta, this coming Thursday you'll have the opportunity to potentially test directly with some Blizzard Blues. From 3:00 to 5:00 pm PDT on Thursday, August 21, members of Blizzard's Development team, Community team, Quality Assurance, and Customer Service will be available on both the PvP and PvE level 100 premade realms to test 3v3 Arena matches and 5-person dungeon groups. Depending on faction, you'll be able to identify Blizzard representatives by their guild tag: <Blizzard Horde> or <Blizzard Alliance>. The event will be a great way to test out some dungeons and arenas while mingling with both your fellow WoW players and creators. If you can make it, I'm sure the event will be worth your while!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Final boss revealed

In his interview with Vanion.eu at this year's Gamescom, Tom Chilton has revealed the identity of the final boss for Warlords of Draenor. Watch the embedded video to hear it from Chilton himself (this spoiler begins at 11:00), or click on to read about it behind the cut. You ready for some spoilers? Okay!

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Another still from Warlords cinematic released

Warlords Still 3
Blizzard has released another still from their upcoming Warlords of Draenor cinematic trailer. Like yesterday's release, it features Grommash Hellscream, but this time we're up close and personal. This is one ominous-looking orc. It also seems like there are some sort of rockets or artillery going off behind him--tools of the Iron Horde? I guess we'll find out when the full cinematic is released tomorrow. Click the image above for the full resolution version.

Also, Grom? Dang, you need a new facial cleanser. Whatever you're using now isn't doing anything for your pores.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Transmoggable farm implements

Farmer
Our friends over at Wowhead have uncovered a new feature in Warlords of Draenor that should make dedicated transmog enthusiasts very happy--transmoggable farm weapons. These include a Garden Hoe, Garden Shovel, Garden Pitchfork, Garden Scythe, and Garden Sickle. The Garden Hoe and Garden Sickle are classified as one-hand maces, all the rest are two-hand staves. They are vendor items sold by the NPCs around your Garrison's Herb Garden, and the cost is surprisingly steep--2,375 gold plus 500 Draenic Seeds for the one-handers, and 4,750 gold plus 1,000 Draenic Seeds for the two-handers. Draenic Seeds can be either grown in your Garrison's Herb Garden, or farmed out in the world by Herbalists.

If you've ever dreamed of an amazing farmer transmog, these weapons are sure to complete the look along with the Red Lumberjack Shirt and the Blue Overalls--for clothies, at least. Who'd have thought that a warlock could look so convincingly nurturing?

Filed under: Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: The Iron Horde invasion, Alliance edition

Blasted Lands Maraad
One of the newer additions to the Warlords of Draenor beta is the Iron Horde invasion of the Blasted Lands. I'm a bit unsure as to whether this is a permanent change or if this is a testing phase for a temporary event, but the new flight point makes me lean toward permanent. You can grab the breadcrumb quest into this series from the Hero's Call Board in Stormwind, where you are told that Vindicator Maraad awaits you in the Blasted Lands. There's a convenient portal right next to the board so you can just hop on in and head over to the new quests.

Beyond this point lie some fairly hefty spoilers for the early part of Warlords of Draenor, so if you're trying to avoid those, pass this article by!

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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